Everyone has a story about when they knew they found "the one." The one thing they're meant to do. The one true mission that makes their heart flutter. My story is a little complicated - it's a two-parter.
Books have always been my escape. The way kids play video games and are stuck to tablets now is how I was with books.
Every Saturday was Library Day. I would pile my tote bag with books that were way beyond my age-assumed reading level. The Cat Who... series was my favorite. It's a murder mystery series that I read when I should have been reading Judy Blume books. (True story, I've never actually read a Judy Blume story.)
It wasn't uncommon for me to finish a book in a day. I was grounded one weekend and read the fourth Harry Potter novel. No chores, no errands, no talking and being a pleasant human being? Best. Punishment. Ever. I'm pretty sure my mom realized that because it never happened again.
I would re-read books over and over, getting lost in the familiar world with characters that felt like more like sisters and brothers to me, not just abstract ideas on a page. Cheaper by the Dozen (yes, it was a book first) even inspired me to write a short story continuation about my favorite character. I made an Ernestine doll and everything to go with it.
Right there, I knew I had to do something with writing.
The second part is not as positive. When I was little - about 8 or so - I would "do impressions" of family members, mostly my two aunts. I spent a lot of time with them and my grandma when I was growing up.
My grandma (and the person not at the center of my jokes) always laughed along and encouraged me. I was playing to the balconies, kids, and did what I had to do to get the laugh. Getting the laugh was the best part - and it rarely mattered to me what I had to do to get it.
As a kid, you don't know any better. I didn't understand what "taking it too far" looked or felt like. Now, I realize that it wasn't funny, it was hurtful.
Because of that reflection, I realize that words have a power over people that are second to none. A good writer recognizes that power. An excellent writer can take that power and make you care about their work with only their words. No movie effects, no pictures, no clever launch-day marketing.
When I was picking my major for college, I knew I wanted to go into advertising. I was fascinated by the hunt for the right word. Naturally, I was drawn to copywriting.
A copywriter's job is to make people care about some brand using words. We aren't the design person or responsible for layout. We take the right word that evokes just the right feeling and create a story that touches someone and empowers them to take action - buy your course, come to your studio, schedule an appointment.
Many times, business owners are so close to the business, they can't see clearly to write about it. They do themselves a disservice by hiding their story behind copy that doesn't connect and therefore has no impact; ultimately, they're losing the sale because they fail to find the words that form a relationship with their customers.
Now, I'm using my gift for words and wielding that power for good by sharing the stories of businesses I work with to connect them with their deserving clients and customers.
It's a pretty sweet gig.