“This is a chord. This is another. This is a third. Now form a band.”

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It’s just over a year since I wrote my first post on this blog. So it seemed like an opportune time to pause and reflect. I’m a copywriter who’s always been as passionate about the craft of writing as the conceptual side of the job; I love words and the noble art of putting them together to create stories and inspire emotions. As my work life over recent years began to involve increasing amounts of creative reviews, finessing decks and writing documents that explain ideas rather than copy for ads, I started this blog as an outlet to do more writing. And, on that level it’s been tremendously enjoyable. The process of writing short pieces on something I’m passionate about is great fun.

I also really enjoy the autonomy of putting up what I want, when I want: no-one else’s opinions to take into account, no client feedback to build in and no deadlines. I’ve written before about my theory that, in the world of advertising, “nobody knows anything”; I’m greatly in agreement with John Cleese’s statement that “you realise as you grow older that almost nobody knows what they are talking about.” Bearing that in mind, the blog is a place for purely subjective ideas and opinions to live, breathe, stimulate debate and, sometimes, vehement disagreement.

In another life, I created gonzo Situationist fanzines. These mentalist photocopied rags were the ramblings of a moody baby Hamlet, a mash-up of half-understood philosophies, part-read novels and an endless diet of Public Enemy, Dexys Midnight Runners and The Clash. They came off like The Communist Manifesto rewritten by Travis Bickle. But, essentially, they were – like this blog – an outlet for unfiltered, unedited, uncensored ideas and writing. Which I’ve come to believe is such an important thing for the creative mind – and a forum that the WordPress platform provides.

WordPress is such a great example of technology putting the means of production into creative people’s hands. I love that blogging enables anyone with a rudimentary technical knowledge to get ideas, arguments and points of view published. Whether you’re obsessed with ads, music, film, cooking, literature, sport or Star Wars figures, it enables you to get those passions out there. In many ways, it reminds me of the DIY ethos of the punk movement, when musical dexterity became less important than ideas and attitude. Although, the key watchout is that having a voice and having something interesting to say are not the same thing. One of my favourite bloggers, the Ad Contrarian, reflecting on his learnings through blogging recently, said, “Being effective at social media means having a voice that is interesting and different. Most people aren’t interesting and are afraid to be different. Readers will give up on you very quickly if you are boring.” Which is a sobering thought and one I’ll keep top of mind as I head into my second year of blogging.

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About antmelder
Creative Partner at DDB Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

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