I’m currently enrolled on a copywriting course run by CityLit, a popular provider of short courses in London. Up until a few months ago I’d been pretty dismissive of copywriting, somewhat harshly judging it as an industry that attempts to convince people to buy things that they don’t really need, often using language that is flowery and seems to hide as much as it conveys.
But then I had my eyes opened. I got approached in a professional capacity by a copywriting agency that wanted some proofreading done. I took a look at their website and saw the wide range of material that they produce: not just advertising but also conference booklets, brochures, newsletters, websites, social media copy and annual reports. Hardly the stuff of traditional advertising puffery.
And it struck me that, through my voluntary work for the Dons Trust, I was already doing a lot of this sort of work. Could it be that I had, almost by accident, already become a copywriter? After a brief chat with someone I know who combines copywriting with journalism, I decided to sign up for the course and delve into things a little bit further.
I’ve been really enjoying the course so far. Our tutor has been encouraging us to embrace our creative side, and it occurred to me that this is something that these days I don’t do very often: almost all the reading and writing I do is on behalf of a client.
Which explains this blog. I can’t promise that it will cover a particularly coherent set of topics. Nor can I promise that it will be updated regularly. But hopefully it will serve me as a creative outlet, a place where I can write somewhat selfishly but maybe – just maybe – a few other people out there in the big, wide world will find it interesting.
I’m still a little bit sceptical about the advertising industry – my tendency to call a spade a spade rather than a ‘highly portable solution to all your earth-moving requirements’ will surely persevere – but even if it does nothing else at least the course will have encouraged me to be a little bit more creative.