Why do I write: The commercial, the creative and the investigative
There are few other copywriters I admire as Belinda ‘Bill’ Weaver from Copywrite Matters. AS a web content writer, its nice to keep such great company. So when she tagged me in a “why do I write?” blog hop, genuinely interested in hearing why I put fingers to keys, I had to oblige.
So without further ado, this is the answer to Belinda’s writing call- why do I write?
What am I working on?
I am a marketing nerd who loves writing content and copy for people. When I first started freelancing, I was pretty horrified to find the ‘SEO only’ attitude to writing. So I use my web content writer business Unashamedly Creative to try and wean businesses, startups and freelancers off that style of thinking.
It’s probably as good a time as any to announce that I have chosen to start not one but three new adventures with writing. Figured it must be the age for a mid-life crisis and I am doing that the way only a word nerd knows how. Gulp.
Project One: TV Script
I have gone back to school. Nothing unusual there, but the subject matter is a little different. I am currently a student of the AFTRS TV Writing course, working on my first TV show. The program itself is about pilot development and it is giving me the opportunity to work through the process of getting my long held drama idea pitch ready.
Studying under legendary Neighbours producer and international show runner (and writer) Susan Bower is seriously knocking this writerly girl’s socks off. It also gives me a break from being a web content writer so I can come back to it with fresh eyes.
So far, so good. I just hope she loves my idea of a dystopian drama surrounding mental health (cheery right?) as much as I am going through the development process.
Project Two: Crime and Justice
I’m tired of hearing about kids ending up in tumble dryers because ill-equipped parents aren’t coping. Or hearing about greedy people killing their partners instead of getting a divorce. And I am tired of the glorification of killers while the victim’s stories languish in silence, or their names become memorials to death and disorder in this country.
This is why I am currently working on ‘Murder Ballads’- an Australian crime and investigation site that (I hope anyway) will bust the myths surrounding crime and murder. And take some of the glitz and glamour from killers and give a voice to the often silent victim.
This is me returning to investigation and journalism, and probably stirring a lot of dirt in the process.
Yes folks, it’s time to sink, swim and splash a few other kids in the pool, word nerd style.
Project Three: Hacking Happiness
Meeting Brook McCarthy has lead to the creation of an idea around busting the myths associated with work glorification, wellness and the obsession with happiness that permeates our culture. We are bringing our skills together to hack happiness.
Being the little word nerd I am, I am spending a lot of time thinking and writing about ideas surrounding the myth of happiness and what we can do about it.
In this instance, writing is a way to solve a problem. I take the idea of solving a problem seriously. As a web content writer, I see a lot of people who write for the sake of filling in gaps and playing by SEO rules. But writing is more than that. It tells a story as well!
Why does my writing style differ?
My writing style differs because I don’t want to sound like someone else. I want to sound like me. Or I want to sound like what I think suits you if I am writing for you.
I dig deep. Psychology, motivation and icebergs fascinate me.
Writing to please SEO bots or to spin the same boring as bat-shit articles everyone else does leaves me cold.
I think we should value the substance of a person’s mind over who says it. And I hope that sincere desire to scoop out brains and explore the beautiful depth of a given situation comes across in what I write.
Why do I write?
I began writing as a kid because I was a very late walker on account of cerebral palsy. I went through numerous leg operations as a kid, spent quite a lot of time in hospital, and wasn’t very mobile. Unfortunately, I was also pretty bright (the polite word for bloody annoying) and curious.
So in order to save sanity, my parents told me stories, read to me, and got me writing as soon as possible.
This continues today. I write as therapy. I write to express myself. I write because some people even seem to enjoy reading it.
I write because it has always been the thing I could take the greatest pride in and gained the most praise. When the other kids were learning the alphabet in Kindergarten, I was reading and writing at third grade level.
So it’s my super power. And I fight with myself to push to the next level as much as I can. Being a web content writer was a natural extension of this. Being able to write for work used to be a lot more difficult. The web has changed all that.
How does my writing process work?
As a web content writer and creative writer to boot, I carry journals wherever I go and take every opportunity I can to write things down. I staple myself to the desk with the music loud and a Labrador at my feet, drink copious amounts of tea and see what pours out.
Beyond that, I break everything down. I compulsively make lists, chart stories, draw diagrams and make notes. I watch TV shows 20 times over until I deconstruct how the writer got to the work they did. I re-read books until they are very nearly falling apart.
I’m the worst post-film coffee companion you could ever think of.
Words are everywhere
Even though on a good day I can pump maybe 10,000 of the little buggers out, I believe strongly in fitness ratios and trim perhaps 90% of it away each time.
If a cliché has been born, it must be pushed, pulled and transformed until it resembles something else.
Details both excite and entrap me in equal measure.
It gives me a damn good excuse to spend an incredible amount of time in my own head.
And that is why I write and am a web content writer.
How about you?
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