Brendan Leonard is a professional dirtbag. When he’s not managing his blog Semirad, he’s out pursuing his everyman dream of climbing as many days as there is sunshine. He recently teamed up with production company Duct Tape Then Beer for an inspiring and motivating video that has been sweeping the outdoor community. The video, titled 35 is about sucking the nectar out of every possible second of life, and though Leonard’s friend Derek Craig is the climber in the video, his words set the stage for a man pursuing and reaching his goals
Derek Schroeder: Tell me a little about your line of work. Your video highlights the dirtbag lifestyle we would all like to live. How did you find yourself doing it professionally?
Brendan Leonard: So, my line of work is writing and editing, and I work remotely — I don’t have an office anywhere, and I live out of a van most of the time (when I’m not on friends’ couches or guest bedrooms). I’ve done all kinds of work, at least partly outdoor-industry since 2004. At the beginning of 2011, I got a copywriting gig for a big tech company and started doing that from home, and six months after I started, my relationship ended, so I moved out of my apartment, got rid of most of my stuff, and hit the road. I have been working from coffee shops all over the West and the U.S. since August 2011, and have been writing 100 percent outdoor/adventure stuff since August 2012. I now have a collection of gigs, including being a Contributing Editor at Adventure Journal, Contributing Editor at Climbing Magazine, my own blog at Semi-Rad.com, and writing features and other stories for Backpacker, Elevation Outdoors, The Dirtbag Diaries, and other publications, and together, all those pay my bills okay. So I live on the road, but it’s not quite “living the dream.” I am working 40-50 hours a week, and lots of weekend days, so it’s maybe halfway living the dream, or 1/3 living the dream, I guess.