[Reflection] Pause and Breathe

It wasn’t until reading Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running that I finally had the courage to write something here again. I’m sorry that I had been absent for so long.

It’s probably perfectionism and pressure that prevented my thoughts from spilling onto paper (well, not really paper, but you get the idea). I used to evaluated my drafted content on whether my readers will find it relevant or interesting. In the process, I lost the passion to write for myself. I don’t want to blame my past profession as a copywriter, but I would say it contributed a lot to this dilemma. I always considered writing for a group of people with specific profiles.

I’m trying to change that, though. I’m not writing for someone else’s profit. I write in the hopes of communicating my thoughts to people without being limited by time and place. After all, anyone access your blog posts at their own convenience.

Is there any other point I should make in this post? At the moment, I couldn’t think of anything. But maybe, losing what to say, ipso facto, is the point. That we need to think of the effect and nature of what we say before we type away. After all, it is so easy to get judged by what you say online nowadays. You may easily regret what you tweeted after you received a string of acerbic replies.

I propose you pause and breathe.


A prose by any other name

Does the title “copywriter” undervalue the content we provide to the clients?

Fellow writer Steve May shares his thoughts on this LinkedIn Article:

I create ideas and use words to deliver them. Ideas that clients use to face the world and build their businesses.

I don’t simply write copy. I position brands. Persuade. Grow loyalty.

Like many, my work has been seen by millions, attached to everything from banks to car companies. Headlines and sub-lines and copy that serves a greater purpose than simply filling spaces.

Every word I write counts. And is of value.

Read here: Why ‘copywriter’ is written incorrectly.


Writing Dialogue


English grammar is hard. It is exceedingly rare for a person to have a “perfect” grasp of the English language, especially when there are so many exceptions and so much encouragement to bend its already pliable rules. Even native speakers often struggle with writing.

This post would be immense if I tried to cover all the most common grammatical issues I encounter when critiquing, so I think I’ll start with dialogue. If you struggle with punctuation in dialogue, you are not alone. Tons of people do. Sometimes they don’t even realize they’ve been doing it totally wrong since birth.

I’ll also go over some style stuff.

I should also add: the style of dialogue writing I use is American English. I want to differentiate because I once completely embarrassed myself by telling an English English-speaker he needed to be using the double quotation mark rather than the single. I was…

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[Infographic] Six Traits of Successful Copywriters—by David Ogilvy

Think you have what it takes to write copy that makes the cash register ring?

Refreshingly straightforward and packed with practical lessons from David Ogilvy’s experience, “Ogilvy on Advertising” gives a look into the mind of one of the legendary advertisers in the 20th century.

In Chapter 3 of the book, Ogilvy divulges on the some of the crucial jobs in advertising. The first on the list are copywriters, who “may not be the most visible people in agencies, but they are the most important.”

Ogilvy also opines that some advertising techniques are built to last for decades, and this remains true with the timelessness of his advice to aspiring copywriters today. In the infographic below, Ogilvy enumerates the six hallmarks of a potentially successful copwyriters:

Don’t you think these qualities remain relevant to this day? Even though the main platform for advertising has shifted—from mass media such as TV and radio to the new media such as social media networks—I think that us copywriters should still conduct rigorous research, constantly reinvent how we position the product to the audience and challenge ourselves to come up with copy that sells. If there are other attributes that you think are vital for copywriting, please post your comment below!

The Enigmatic Art of Gao Xingjian

(Image c/o Among the Jumbled Heap)

It’s such a shame to discover the art of Gao Xingjian this late.

He has been in the art scene since the 1980s and was eventually banished from his homeland, China. Now a French citizen, his works found themselves a new home in the admiration of (mostly) the Western world.

Even though he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000 with Soul Mountain (an “experimental” novel), Gao exemplifies his gift and love for art with more than just words: aside from being a novelist, he is also a literary translator, playwright, screenwriter, director, and a painter – which will the focus of this post.

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Skills and Career Ideas for Sociology Majors

When you ask children what they’d like to be when they grow up, you can easily predict their answers: doctor, lawyer, teacher, or even astronaut. Chances are you’d rarely come across someone who dreams of becoming a Sociologist. The exemption doesn’t apply to me either – I used to come up with all sorts of stories as a kid because I wanted to be a writer.

So when I first studied Sociology, I wondered what kind of job I’d get with this seemingly uncommon discipline.

Three years after I graduated, I found myself jumping from one job to another easily, thanks to the flexibility granted by a degree in Sociology.

So let’s answer the big question: when it comes to building your career, what can you get out of Sociology?

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Video: Overused Advertising Phrase at the Cost of “Playing It Safe”

This is what happens when either clients or creatives fear the risk of not complying with what has worked in the industry, so they stuck their guns to using trite copy.

Part of his Make Something Every Day 2017 project, Kaj Kjellesvig made a video compilation of many commercials which made use of “We Believe” in one way or another:

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