Many people make their living from words. How did they discover and pursue their dreams? What are the different faces of success in this field – and what types of people do we find here? This interview tries to enlighten us a little.

Enjoy reading about: Katja Krajnc.

Katja’s Story

To most people it seems difficult to describe themselves in just one word. But Katja is not like most people. She doesn’t have to think twice before she answers: “Joyful!”

Her smile proves her point.

In Slovene, you would say “vesel, igriv”. Katja teaches Slovene to expats like me. This is her main job at the moment – together with collaborating on a dictionary project – but during her life she has worked mostly in different fields of journalism.

Her biggest passion? Communication and dancing. “I need both for my mental wellbeing”, Katja says. Whatever she does, she needs it to be fun – or at least, provide her with energy. Before she does anything, she asks herself: Can I find some joy or passion in it? And it has to be a clear “yes”, before going on. But of course, life can throw you some curveballs. Then she asks herself: How can I bring joy into this situation?

How can she be so full of energy? “Well, my motivation is completely intrinsic. Everything I have done in life has come from an inner motivation.” And the dancing, of course. Accompanied by some Spanish.

Living From Words: How can you make a Living of Language?

“I live from words – this is true in more than just one way. I do live from teaching and working on projects related with language (as I am earning money with it), but also I live from words – I need people and communicative exchange.”

Katja is a passionate interviewer. “I ask people what they think. Always. Everywhere.” To be interviewed herself must feel a bit awkward. But she actually enjoys being on the other side of the table for once. Which makes sense: Because she describes herself as a restless person, she needs to make new experiences every day – constantly challenging herself. “I guess I am too dynamic to stay in just one place, and if I had to stay somewhere, it would definitely have to be a dynamic place in itself.”

So how did she actually manage to be successful – working with and living from words?

“The usual problem of most people who study is this: They don’t necessarily go into their field.” To avoid this, Katja began to approach people and companies as early as she could. She just searched for those firms that were doing what she liked – and volunteered or did student work. “This is what I recommend to all people who want to make a living from language: A consistent and early engagement.”

Strong Guidance can be Simple and Rewarding: About Role Models – and Herself.

Katja has problems with identifying any classical “successful role models” at first, because she likes to figure out life herself. “Also, it is hard for me to feel success. But the stakes always get higher, and now I am learning how to feel it.”

So, what exactly is success for her?

“When I figure out where I want to go and I have enough courage to go through with it.”

When it comes to people who had a productive influence on her – next to her marathon running father – the most important ones would be TV show hosts Miša Molk as well as Bernarda Žarn and Mario Galunič. “I just love watching and listening to them: they really know how to use the best words possible to connect with people and bring the best out of them.”

Katja. Connecting the Dots.

In the end, she resumes: “If you tell your story in hindsight, it makes so much sense and your life becomes this awesome path you have been following the whole time.” From her first stage in kindergarden, over her studies and local newspaper and event and TV host, to being an entertaining teacher.

When finally asked again to describe herself in one word, nothing has changed.

“Joyful”, she says. With a big smile on her face.

A joyful evening with Katja (on the right)

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