Kate Waddon Copywriting

We all need words. Let me help you find the right ones.

Update from Cornwall

Having banged on about the importance of looking after your blog, I have pretty much neglected mine during March. To return to my original analogy, if it were a plant, I would now be standing it in a shallow bath, feeding it panicked overdoses of Baby Bio and pleading with it, out loud. Happily, blogs are more forgiving.

I wish we weren’t all so fond of declaring people “passive aggressive” these days – it makes it hard to offer a genuine explanation about anything. I’ve had a real rush of work in the last two weeks and during these busy periods, my clients always have to come first (although the strategic marketing mob would shake their heads at my task-focused approach).  Here’s a quick update of what I’m currently working on.

It’s quite unusual and rather nice that most of my copywriting work is for Cornwall-based businesses at the moment. That means I have occasionally (gasp) met up with my clients. I’ve dragged myself out of my usual old-rugby-shirt-and-baggy-leggings work combo, put on, well, tidier leggings, and had the pleasure of work and coffee with some splendid and talented people.

Because as ever, it’s the entrepreneurial spirit of my Cornish copywriting clients that impresses me. This week I met up with a local farmer – a young woman who has set up her own business in a farm so beautiful and windswept, it could be straight out of Poldark*. It is going to be a stunning website, and I’ll write more about it when it’s live.

I’m also writing for a “glampsite” (there’s a smashing portmanteau word for you) which is seriously making me want to chuck everything in the car and head up to North Cornwall for a bit of comfort-under-canvas. The very lovely hotel I’m working with is also making me feel that there’s a serious lack of glamour in my own life (see the old rugby shirt reference again), as I encourage others to relax in the pool and enjoy a glass of something chilled on the balcony… These are two projects that highlight the county’s growing reputation as a high-end destination.

Then I roll my sleeves up and crack on with an engineering website that’s nearing completion. This is for a Cornwall-based company that now works internationally, so we’ll be looking at working with translators shortly. In a completely different sector, I’m about to start a project with a therapist, which will be an interesting exercise in getting the tone just right.

So that (plus a couple of copywriting projects north of Cornwall) is why my blog has dried up and needs a bit of extra watering (although it’s not as dead as this metaphor). Again, my recent work has made me feel very privileged to work with such a group of imaginative, hardworking people who are really making a go of their diverse range of businesses down here in Cornwall. Links to websites and more updates to follow when everything goes live.

 

*It is obligatory to mention Poldark in every conversation at the moment if you are Cornish and female.

The researching copywriter

I got to do a lovely thing today. I picked up some real, live, three-dimensional books. With each book, I turned to the index, put some post-its in the pages that I needed, and added them to the pile on the desk. I was Doing Research.

Research can be a major part of  copywriting work. Clients that ask you to quote for “writing time” don’t realise that often, the actual writing bit is pretty quick. Finding out what to write is a slower process, however it can be one of the most rewarding parts of the job (just please bear in mind that I really want to be a QI Elf, so I don’t necessarily speak for my less geeky peers). It’s also great if you get to surprise the client with a nice little snippet of information that can really add an extra something to the writing.

Most of my projects require some sort of online research, even if it’s just to double-check a spelling. I’m not sure if I should admit just how much time I spend on Wikipedia… Yes, I know it’s not always reliable, but it’s a great springboard to other sources that are.

But today was different. Easter customs in Cornwall is one of those subjects that’s so pleasingly esoteric that there’s not a lot out there. However, it’s the sort of field that lots of fabulous and dedicated individuals have written books about, and it was a pleasure pootling through their pages. It took me back to the good old days of the university library, when the only time we saw a screen was to help us find the right shelf.

I have a few more historical things to research over the next few weeks, and I may actually take myself down to Penzance library. OK, I can’t have my usual writing rider of coffee and Six Music; however I can enjoy that eureka moment when you find just the right subject in the index – far more satisfying then using a search engine…

But, I’m not about to amble too far down the (grassy) luddite path; and I’m not about to enter the whole “print-is-dead”, “screens-are-soulless” debate. It’s personal, and largely situational. I can’t imagine doing my job without the internet. It was just rather nice flicking through some books.