My first foray into the world of copywriting was on a pre-GCSE work experience assignment, when my Uncle Simon, an editor at a London publishing house, found me a place at Plastics & Rubber Weekly magazine*. On day three they suggested I have a go at writing a double page spread; I imagine this task was solely intended to keep me quiet for a few hours, but surprisingly enough my efforts were deemed worthy of publication. I saw my name in print for the first time and I was extremely pleased with myself.
Fast forward to 2017, via a Modern Languages degree and 15 years at the marketing coalface, and I find myself writing again – but getting paid for it this time around. I have been a freelance copywriter for over five years now and have written countless blogs for other people, just never for myself. This post is another first and I promise you: it’s much harder than writing about polymer composites. But enough about me. This blog is supposed to be about words, so I’ll start with some of my favourites.
When I finally decided to take the plunge and leave the stressful (but risk-free) world of permanent employment, I found an old postcard at the bottom of my desk drawer. It was from my Dad. My inspiring Dad who had worked his whole life to give me stability, education and long summer holidays in France. My wonderfully sensible Dad who was looking forward to a retirement he had planned and saved for, but never got a chance to enjoy.
“I think I am in paradise,” he wrote from the banks of Loch Lomond where he was taking his annual, solitary, walking holiday. “Am now halfway and every day has been sunshine. It is hard walking and I have just walked for three days through the blisters. Although my left foot is raw, the pain is in the back of my mind – so far the way has been a carpet of bluebells, wild garlic and primroses… absolute heaven.”
These words won’t matter to you (unless you’re my brother or my Mum – thanks for reading this far, you two). There’s nothing particularly clever about them, although they do bring a nice image to mind; and the copywriter in me would pounce on the repetition of walking and walked. But these words, in pencil on the back of an old postcard, are my inspiration to keep on keeping on and my reminder to step back once in a while and suck in the view.
The point of all this is that words are extremely subjective. What resonates with me might grate on your nerves or pass you by entirely. Whatever your thoughts, feel free to share them – along with the words that matter to you.
*I know what you’re thinking – but actually it was about raw materials and supply chains.