A copywriter’s journey

My timing might seem a bit off. I mean who in the right mind launches a new business right in the middle of a global lockdown? Truth is, I think building this website and focussing on where it might take me, have been the only things keeping me sane through this whole parallel reality. And in true copywriter style, I’ll introduce myself by way of my first blog.

OK, a little bit of background then.

I left school in the late 80s with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I had friends who had known for years exactly which vocation had them in its clutches; indeed the budding architect went on to be exactly that, and the loveable boffin went on to present a prime time science show on the BBC. I, in the meantime, left school slightly dazed, and started work in one of the most prestigious jobs that the 80s could offer a school-leaver who had no desire to be an ‘air-hostess’. I became a bank clerk.

I look back now and wonder how on earth I managed such a people-facing role – little did I realise back then that my personality type was to eventually blossom into ‘textbook introvert’ – something I have come to cherish in my adulthood. But back then, I was none the wiser – and continued to lurch from one wrong job to the next.

That all changed when one of my bosses asked if I could help him with a little marketing job. I was tasked with designing a leaflet; I had to do all the writing on it, lay out all the artwork, and get it printed. I rattled that leaflet off so fast he hardly knew what had hit him. “I could be on to something here”, I thought. My first tentative steps as a copywriter had been laid down.

So with natural flare finally discovered, my next job was in a Marketing Department, followed some years later by the skill-defining PR Agency. It was there I developed what soon became a passion: not just as a copywriter, but for making sure the copy is right – in every sense.

In 2007, I set-up my own agency, Presto PR Ltd, which enjoyed a string of happy and loyal clients for more than 10 years. Despite the success though, my feet began to itch again, and I knew I had to make one final leap. I longed to indulge my uncanny eye for errors and my love of perfectly-placed dots and dashes: I needed to walk the proofreading path.

Having finally found my true vocational soul-mate, I sealed the deal with a formal qualification, (it doesn’t take Freud to work out that I was hankering after my absent college years). I also joined the Chartered Institute for Editing and Proofreading. And there you have it. Although Presto is still up and running, I am now making a conscious and long-awaited diversion into editorial, where I will share my love of good wordage with you.

Have a nosey around the website; over the coming months it will be filled with loads of tips and advice which I hope you find useful.

Happy browsing.