Below the concrete, under the waves of rolling automobiles, knowledge sways from mahogany bookshelves.
Schools of well-to-do librarians duck and weave, putting this there, that over here, and oops, up off the ground, and back on top.
They stop in the corridors to talk.
“Seen that gentleman devouring the knowledge at the large reading table?”
“Yes. Every week. Peculiar. What’s he read?”
“I never ask.”
Elevators transfer knowledge to the room above as it is called for. A bell rings. A door opens. And people are served.
They feast on the knowledge. Gobble it up. Smoosh their faces in its pages and swallow it whole.
“Delicious!” They say. “This knowledge is the very best. But where does it come from? I only ever hear that little bell ring, that little door open.”
“Ah! Under your feet is an elaborate eco-system. That’s what I’m told.”
“Fascinating. Just fascinating. There’s nothing better than this here knowledge. Nothing better at all.”
09/25/11 -- Writing -- 0 Comments
It took me a few days to realise it was all complete tripe. I sounded like an idiot. The metaphors. The semi-colons. The italics. What bullshit. Pretty hilarious though, when you think about it.
“I still don’t understand you. You keep justifying this shit to yourself.”
“You’re doing it cause you need the money. You’re doing it cause that’s what you’re supposed to do. Who fucking cares?”
“Yeah I know, but… I. Arg… I need the money. I can’t do what I want without it.”
“Write. Everyday. Don’t worry about the money. It’ll come.”
“You’re an idiot. Clever, but an idiot.”
The easiest mistakes are the ones that come naturally. You try to catch your brain in the act; with its pants down. And you do. It’s always funny. Hilarious actually. Pretty hilarious.
09/20/11 -- Writing -- 0 Comments
Image by Risa-i
When I was 16, I’d sit on the bus to school, staring out the window.
I’d imagine discussions with various people: girls I liked, idols to meet, teachers to prove wrong. The conversations would flow effortlessly, like bird formations in the sky. I’d say exactly what I felt; what I meant. I was the centre of the goddam universe and others listened to me. I was in control of everything.
But reality was the opposite. I was clunky and shy around girls, idols, teachers. When I spoke, conversations stumbled. Something was blocking the flow. I was a cliche of awkward youth. Just another one of those, I suppose.
Then I found a solution. A blank page.
With it, I’d fall into that mesmerising pool of window-flow, and document the journey. I’d write in my voice and find form for the discussions. Relief! Soon everyone would hear what I had to say. Girls would fall at my feet, idols would become friends, teachers would concede defeat, then resign.
But achieving window-flow was a boulder and a hill. I couldn’t hold it long enough to finish a story. Girls never fell at or near my feet.
So I forgot about it and did the stuff you should do: Left home. Worked. Saw the things to see.
Now, close to ten years later, I’ve almost got it. The flow stays long enough to write, consistently. I’m saying the things I want to say. Relief.
Today I moved into a new office space. I sat in my chair and stared at a vent in the wall until this came out. Flaburg! Just like that.
Vent-flow, I call it. Always have, always will.
09/19/11 -- Writing -- 0 Comments
For those wondering what the hell a copywriter does, you’re not alone.
Almost everyone has a basic understanding, but generally, they’re unsure.
“Bios and websites, right?” My 25 year-old housemate
“So you do wordsmithing? Good people those. Valuable to our department.” A friend’s Dad
“Buy nows, join heres, the best most positively meaningful product description Xs, and zany puns, yeah?” Advertising Agency Producer
“Ohh, copywrite, not copyright. Cool.” A friend of a friend of a friend
All correct in their own little way. But too specific.
The simple version:
We absorb information, write it succinctly, make it a pleasure to read, then suggest the reader does something.
If you think I can help you, send me an email. I reply to every single one, I promise.
09/15/11 -- Writing -- 0 Comments
Recently, I left my job.
I was the Creative Director at Native Digital–a neat little agency in a warehouse with a table tennis table. It took about a year to realise making arrangements and being an expert in technology wasn’t my bag. I’m a copywriter by trade. The skills just didn’t fit. So I left.
I thought my mum would hate me, but she didn’t.
“Oh, Tait, well, sounds like you made a good decision. Do you want lasagna? I can get Tim to drop some off.”
It’s easy to forget how much jobs don’t matter. No one cares what you do. Anyone who does is a doormat.
Now, I’m a writer. Wa-hoo.
It’s the best word I’ve found for what I’m good at. I’m gonna run with it while I can.
Each week, I’ll be splitting my time between copywriting for clients and writing features for magazines. I’ve been making arrangements for a year now (aka, writing emails, quickly) so I think I can do this (aka, making money, quickly).
You know, last Monday I climbed that giant hill of Hobart, Mt. Wellington. Armed with a pair of vans and a backpack containing a mandarine and a half-finished bag of nuts, myself and three others reached the peak. It was -4 and we were wearing tshirts. And that, dear friends, was all the advice I needed to pay rent as a writer.
End note: Native Digital are the very best digital agency in Melbourne. If you’re into start-ups, apps, websites, digital strategies, or making cool stuff, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell him I sent you.
09/14/11 -- Writing -- 0 Comments