I wear two hats as a writer. Figurative hats, that is. I’ve worn some spectacular literal hats in the past, but mostly as a performer, rather than a writer.
I’m both Nick Blatchley the copywriter and Nyki Blatchley the fiction writer, and you might assume that there isn’t much connection between the two, except using words. How could writing stories have anything to do with writing copy for a company’s website or product descriptions for a brochure?
Well, first of all, that “except using words” is a pretty big except. Using precise words precisely, putting them together clearly, so the reader’s mind moves over them and takes in the meaning without having to think about how it’s being expressed-that’s a universal aspect of good writing, whatever you happen to be using it for.
Sir Ernest Gower, in his classic work The Complete Plain Words (a book I’d recommend to anyone using words in any way) gives two examples that he describes as perfect English. One is from Shakespeare:
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchymy
and the other is a post office sign:
Postmasters are neither bound to give change nor authorised to
The immense difference between these quotes, of course, lies in their purpose and the impression the writers were aiming to give. Essentially, though, they are using the same toolbox to achieve those impressions and that perfection.
Beyond that, though, the art of storytelling isn’t so very far from what I offer as a copywriter. I should make it clear that I’m absolutely not the kind of author who says that “all my stories are really about myself”. I write fiction to explore other people and experiences I’ve never had, and often that I never will have. Though I’m still working on emulating a character who lives for over four thousand years.
And, essentially, that’s what copywriting is all about. If I write your website content, your company blog posts, your online profile, I’m not writing about myself. I’m exploring someone else. Just as, I hope, the readers of my fiction will feel who my characters are, so what comes over to your customers through my copy will be you.
Storytelling, too, is a part of copywriting. Your company has a story, and there’s a story in how you fulfil your customers’ needs. That story needs to be told just as clearly and effectively as any tale of adventure or romance.
Whether or not I can offer perfect English-that’s for others to decide-I can promise to bring all my writing skills, including storytelling, to show your company in the best possible way.