Welcome to the dungeon – evil marketers

I sometimes like to compare writing to being at Hogwarts.

There’s something magical about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys if you’re going to be pedantic), and emotionally connecting with the people.

Garnering any kind of engagement from content nowadays, in this age of information is incredibly challenging. If there’s something I’ve taken from my experience so far, it’s that: if you’re going to open your mouth, the words better have a purpose.

So ANYWAY… You may know, I’ve taken an unpaid marketing internship in Brighton.

“You must be mad Tom” – I hear you heckle from your financially stable positions.

“I probably am” – I’ll calmly reply. I applied for dozens of content writing jobs, why suddenly switch focus and go down that controversial badger hole?

I’ll tell you. It’s because I was impressed by the job advert. Simple as that. It wasn’t the content either, it was the way the message was conveyed. It told a story. It revealed the beating heart of a human being–the aspirations, the hopes and desires of the writer(s). The writing was alive! (Well… compared to the other dry application offers it was!)

Not only that but it dared me to want what it had to offer. In that moment after reading the ad, I knew I wanted to write like that, more than anything.

Jump forward to the present.

After a week working at Hello Genius I’ve got some amending to make of my HP fiction. Writing isn’t the artsy fartsy wand (don’t substitute that) waving I originally envisioned.

It’s a potions class!

Follow the recipe or go rogue if you’re skilled enough. But know that each word needs to earn its place, just as each potion ingredient must be added with the utmost care.

Because if one word goes astray, you won’t have a second chance to re-engage your reader. Once your writing is signed off as ‘boring’, that’s it for you.

Stew your lacewing flies for 22 days and the broth becomes unusable or worse, toxic!

It makes the analogy so much sweeter that Hello Genius is based underground down a back alley. However, I wouldn’t consider them evil, just incredibly clever, and maybe devious at times…

That’s an argument for another time though.

I did say I’d shed some light on the speed dating hoojamaflip didn’t I… Whilst it’s fresh in my memory I’ll relay a few emotions that went through my head, in chronological order:

  • 2 days before – mild dread
  • 1 day before – strong dread
  • 30 minutes before – I’m a 13 year old again – unprecedented levels of dread
  • Date 1 – so f***ing awkward (that’s “froging” to you)
  • Half way point – oh God… I haven’t written down any notes, I’ve forgotten everyone’s names
  • Last few dates – I’m so tired of talking about my unemployment
  • End point – that wasn’t so bad!
  • Drinks after – epiphany: I’ve now dated 16 women (15 x 2 minute dates)
  • Walk home – hang on… Spencer and I dated 15 of the same women tonight
  • Several years down the line – Spencer and I (wearing matching knitted jumpers) buy a small suburban house together and adopt an African child we name Polly – after the woman we both kind of liked during speed dating, but she was far too old anyway

So… Let me know what kind of stuff you actually enjoy reading. I won’t make a habit of using bullet points… “What a lazy bastard”, is what you’re thinking, not saying. I hope.

Until next time! Maybe I’ll bring back some gaming chatter!

“Owch! That tomato wasn’t rotten!”

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