copywriting · Making a Living Through Writing · Writing Process

Copywriting is Fiction… Right?


cakeI have friends and family who say that if it’s just a taste of something sinful like cake, that it doesn’t count. Well, hips and thighs do not lie, so every taste counts when you’re working on your weight. I liken this to the process of writing.

Because I write fiction and copy, I find myself constantly caught in a puddle of self-doubt about whether I am truly a writer or just another ad man in a skirt. In 2008, after years of plunking down marketing prose on the corporate track, I took a side trip into the world of fiction writing and LOVED IT. All the years of composing deliverables helped me create a beginning, middle and end to four young adult books. Copywriting skills definitely helped me through the dark hours of being controlled by the characters in my mind.

Moving forward a few years, my fiction writing took a back seat as the bread and butter that comes forth from my fingers reared its head and beckoned me back to composing calls to action and social posts promoting the next BIG THING. While copywriting paid the bills, I felt sadness for the fiction writing that once flowed from my heart and wondered if copywriting could satisfy my creative soul?

Well, yes! As a copywriter, it’s easy to see the message in what you’re writing, whether that means exploring product benefits or asking the potential customer how they ever lived without an $88 real estate course. Marketing is like a twisting of truth – what you’re saying more than likely is fact, but as a word crafter you make the facts taste more like cake (see where I’m going?) and in doing so you are essentially writing fiction! At least this is what I tell myself from time to time.

Stories are woven every day by writers from New York City to across the country where this Duck writes in Southern California. Our clients and employers depend on us to write the stories behind their products and services, and we must entertain the reader and draw them into the story of how the product/service/gizmo will improve their life! It’s really not unlike writing fiction – you have a hook, line and CTA sinker to get the effect you want.

Copywriting is fiction, so don’t feel the guilt when you take a bite. It really does count.

Image by Kelvin Skee
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