I’ve completed a couple of challenging creative writing projects of late.
The first one was developing a new “voice” for a website aimed at teenagers.
It’s been a while since I was a teenager, and I’m yet to have one grunting around my home, so I expected it to be a challenge.
The client described their target audience, and by asking the right questions, I was able to gauge the feel they wanted for the website. I developed a tone and conversational communication that was friendly and welcoming but not something that screamed of an adult trying to sound like a teenager. Having freedom to create from scratch was invigorating and the client was thankfully over the moon with what I’d written.
The next project was briefly detailing a fairly obscure new product. The client only wanted a couple of paragraphs. I thought this would be simple. Until it wasn’t.
The client explained the concept over the phone. It took him ten minutes to describe it and that involved a sequence of clarifying questions from me. It was not easy to grasp and even more difficult to put into words.
He sent me drafts he’d attempted, in addition to some marketing material he’d had professionally written.
I tried one version using the material he’d provided and aimed to tighten it. It was definitely more readable but unfortunately the description still wasn’t clear enough.
I tried again, with more direct language and succinct explanations. I had someone read it who knew nothing about the product and they were none the wiser after reading my explanation. Fail number two.
My brain was close to imploding. I’d stared at the words for so long, I’d walked around the block, I’d eaten chocolate. None of it was bringing me a fresh perspective.
Finally, I decided to ignore everything he’d sent me and start again. I managed to write a simple Q & A format, where clear questions formed part of the explanation. The answers filled in the gaps. All of a sudden, it fell into place and flowed seamlessly. I sent it off as an alternate idea and that was the one he loved.
What I realised was that as much as working within the parameters of a customer or client’s needs are integral, we have been engaged for our expertise. When the solution is not obvious, we have to go back to basics, and trust we have the skills and knowledge to find an answer that will delight our client. Ultimately, we need to play our own game.
Her dream of becoming a back up dancer for Janet Jackson was quashed by a distinct lack of talent, forcing Kylie Orr into a day job of writing. She has four children and one husband to fuel her inspiration.
After eight years writing for Essential Baby, Kylie was keen to broaden into genres outside parenting. She found the murky waters and the swell of rejection in this cut-throat freelance writing business overwhelming. But 2015 is her year. She’s determined she will be successful, she will conquer the writing world and make enough money to eat more than 2 minute noodles.