So how did I become such a creative copywriter? Where did it all begin?
I’ll take you back to the very beginning.
The first thing of any substance I can remember writing was written by me, aged 10. Actually I began at 10 and only finished this project as an awkward 14-year old boy, (who still looked just like a 10-year old).
It was a Fighting Fantasy book. One of those interactive kinds, where you (the reader) are the main character …
If you want to drink the old wizard’s potion turn to page 163, if you’d prefer to dive straight into the perilous pit of burning decay then turn to page 11.
That kinda thing.
It involved a whole lot of planning, creativity and young teenage-brainal activity.
I mapped out the entire plot beforehand – by drawing a chain of huge A3-sized maps (they seemed huge at the time) with all the possible twists and turns of the story. I hand-made the book from coloured card and paper.
Then I filled it not only with creative language and inventive storylines, but with elaborate hand-drawn pictures of dragons, monsters, goblins and warriors. A lot of early teenage free-time and sweat went into it.
It was called ‘The Forest of Fear’.
This little fantasy book captured a growing adolescent’s 4-year long voyage of thought and literary development, on coloured paper…and then my brother lost it!
So that was the end of that.
You could say it was the first stepping stone on my path to becoming a copywriter… (Or you could just say it was a kid’s story I wrote, then lost. That’s up to you.)
What was school like for me? Did I always dream of becoming a copywriter?
The short answer is… no.
It never occurred to me at that stage of my life. Probably because I didn’t know what one was.
That’s not to say that I lacked creativity however; I loved my art and story-writing in English Language class. And I impressed teachers with my uniquely creative writing style.
The secret to my success at that age was pretty much just throwing in really short sentences all over the place…It doesn’t seem so ingenious now.
Moving. Moving slowly. One hand grips the bark, and then the next. The sloth moves along his sturdy branch, inch by inch. Climbing slowly. Gradually. Slowly. Slowly (etc)
This isn’t an extract, but I remember writing something like this. I thought it was so very inventive at the time.
As a boy of that age who likes to write, you have dreams of becoming a famous author or maybe a Clark Kent/Superman-style journalist.
Little did I know that those days were actually the making of an imaginative and determined advertising copywriter.
Want to know what happened next? Go straight to Memoirs of a Copywriter, Part 2 Now!