Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Monday, 5 December 2011

Earwigging on the Street.

We all go about our daily lives believing what we say has no significance to others (and is therefore unimportant). Sometimes however, little nuggets of social insight can leap out. Here are a few I've picked up on my daily commute.

"You can economize on absolutely anything except what goes on your feet".
Overheard mother talking to daughter on train. 11.11.11

"You've got nice skin, why don't you show it off?".
Overheard on train, boyfriend talking to girlfriend. 12.11.11

"Unless someone punches or kicks you in the face, I don't want to see you crying".
Young black father talking to his primary school-aged son, Fulham Palace Road. 18.11.11

 "Even though I've given up smoking, I still like the smell of fresh smoke. Not on somebody else though".
Two women chatting on the Victoria Tube. 22.11.11

Funny what people say when they think no-one is listening. Anything you've heard recently that deserves a post here?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Kindling the book-fueled fire.

The power of books should not be underestimated. A precursor to the internet, books have started wars, inspired genius, spread ideas and changed the world.

Little hinged vessels of knowledge, books are a small gateway to another reality. They help craft alternative realities for a reader. Books are teachers, companions and entertainers all in one neat portable little package.

But the ‘package’ of books is changing forever.

The development of eBook readers is following technology’s dizzying rise into mainstream society. According to Amazon, sales of eBooks are actually exceeding paper books. This is a sad state of affairs.

Let me tell you why.

By reducing the majesty of a book to mere pixels, much of the benefits of the reading ‘experience’ are lost. With eBook readers such as the Amazon Kindle, there is no tactile feel (so no pop-up eBooks then) no texture and no soul. You lose the sense of accomplishment you normally gets after reading a chunky hardback book, replaced by a thin, easily breakable piece of plastic. Drop a book, it wont break, keep reading.

In my view, eBooks have created a need that wasn’t there in the first place. Can you imagine a public library building filled with eBooks? Try sharing an eBook when it can only be viewed on a proprietary device.

Real books don’t need perishable batteries and LEDs - you can even burn them if your reading expectation falls flat. Compared to the printed page, it’s 25% harder to read words on a screen (although this doesn't apply to eInk). Best of all though, real books can possess one thing an eBook can never have. 

The author’s signature.

Not the pixelated, 'eInk' representation of a signature, but a real one. One that the author themselves has clasped the book to write. Through the book, a bond is created between the writer and reader. What could be a better reading experience than that?

Better finish there, my laptop battery will run out shortly.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Cooking up the Copy.

One of my colleagues once told me that writing is about feeling, not thinking. To a large degree this is true. Previously when writing, I would always think about how the copy should be written, only then to overthink it. Writing should come from your gut instinct.

How does it make you feel?

‘The same way the recipient would feel’ is the correct answer. It’s hard to put any emotion into your copy if you overthink it. So it becomes stale, devoid of feeling.

If you think about it too much, either your mind can enter a loop, or you go off brief completely. Basically you go around in circles. Write ‘hot’ with this gut instinct. Pour it out.

Then let it simmer. Leave for 20 minutes until cool.

Go out and refresh your mind for as long as your deadline will allow. Now you can edit the copy cold, with fresh eyes.

How do you feel now?

He landed with a bump.


(He emerges from the inky word-womb a cold shivering infant with little experience, and a nervous disposition).

I aim to document my development as a copywriter, so this whole thing is going to be a learning experience (bear with me).

Some of the posts will be naive, vulgar, and some hopefully will be inspirational. I'll learn everything the hard way, but that's the best way to learn.

Give me your feedback, abuse, grammatical corrections and comments, it's all very much appreciated.

Here we go.