So, you know a little about me now, and you may find yourself wondering how someone like me who had an illustrious career interviewing farmers and snapping highly controversial photos of cow utters could have ever given it all up to be a mere desk jockey. You’re an asshole, but I see your point. Normally, I’d answer this question with dollar signs, but I think I’ll actually answer it in hopes of elevating whoever reads this drivel a little.
I’m a copywriter because journalism got boring. I’m a copywriter because I like a challenge. I’m a copywriter because no two days are ever the same. The stress level isn’t any lower, the editors aren’t any less fuckery, but I came to an understanding about newspapers a long, long time ago: everything in them is a vehicle to sell advertising space. The myth of news for the sake of informing the masses was always just that: a myth.
I actually became a copywriter by accident. I sort of fell backward into this career, but don’t let that make you think I’m not a total professional. In my dark days, after the newspaper in Marshfield was done, I applied for every writing job I found online. Hell, I didn’t know what a copywriter was, but I was sure I could figure it out. I mean, I took poetry AND playwriting in college, so surely I was capable of anything.
I picked up lots of little jobs with trade magazines reporting and websites grinding copy, but one job — just one — was with a marketing house. God only knows why they decided to give me a shot, but they did, and the rest was kind of history. When I got my first assignment, I thought to myself, “People surely can’t be paying for this.” But much to my surprise, they were! So that’s how I became a copywriter. You wanted to know why I still am, though, and that’s a much shorter answer.
Unlike other genres of writing, I feel like I can really directly help people with my words as a copywriter. My college days were a constant struggle between my wanting to follow my artistic-type urges and my need for a viable career — that’s how I ended up with a degree in American history. I saw myself with a PhD, writing about history and teaching and maybe finding a middle ground I could live with for a while.
My dear newspapers were already dying by the time I finally got around to going off to school, you see. I knew there was no future there. But I’ve always been a helpful type, so when I discovered that there was good money in being able to explain things to other people really well — heck, I knew that was exactly what I was born to do. I’ve been doing for the last four years, and I have to say, I’m only getting better. So, there’s that, too. I’m hot stuff…