Back to basics

Working in online content, I get paid to write every day. Somehow this had fooled me into thinking that I was a writer.

When I was growing up, I wrote constantly: stories, poems, diaries and endless pages-long letters to penpals all around the world. My mum still reminds me about the little notes I used to leave around the house for her. “Dear mum, Can we go to the park tomorrow? Tick here for yes, tick there for no”.

I even made a bet with a friend, many years ago, that we would both become published authors before our 30th birthdays. Well, his has already passed, while mine is just a week away, and neither of us has managed to produce that daring debut novel we dreamed of. Having said that, we’ve both been published in magazines and both of our jobs involve writing.

The kind of writing I do at work isn’t quite what I dreamed of, being limited by a strict style guide, commercial needs and above all, incredible time pressure. Still, writing like this has a certain puzzle-like appeal, the game being to move the information around like jigsaw pieces until it fits into the required format, usually at breakneck speed.

No, the real issue I have with churning out twenty identikit 100-word texts a day is that it superficially satisfies that deep need to write, so that I come home more inclined to mindlessly watch Youtube or scroll through Reddit than to put pen to paper, when actually I’m not truly writing at all.

A recent copywriting training course about unlocking creativity was an incredible release for me, and reminded me how far I’d drifted from doing what I really love. I spent most of the journey home furiously scribbling down ideas, and this blog which I had created and then left idle for months seems like as good as any a place to share them.

More to come…