Why did I become a copywriter? It’s quite simple, really: I wanted to find a way to write about science fiction, zombies and blowing things up, and get paid for it. Granted, most of my assignments don’t often involve me writing about such things (no matter how hard I try to shoehorn them in), but at least it’s writing, and with copywriting, one is forced to write.
Now, don’t take the word “forced” negatively in this context. Such a word may conjure up images of the Render Positive staff being chained-up and locked in a basement, with Jon and Gary giving the occasional (read: once a year) treats of bread and a toilet break every time an article is finished; but such mental pictures would be false. “Forced” in this case refers to a personal spur, an need to push yourself: “you must write and you must write as well as possible.” This is the ultimate kick-up-the-backside for any would-be creative, or anyone suffering from the dreaded “block.” You aren’t allowed to rest on your laurels, get comfortable or procrastinate. You have a deadline, therefore you must write.
Prior to starting work at Render Positive, I frequently suffered from writer’s block. This intermittently lasted almost five years, starting in 2007 after graduating from university and lasting until I joined Render Positive last year. Like a phantom, this block came unexpectedly – after a ten-year spree of creativity; where not only did I write a minimum of 2,000 words per day every day, but also danced (specifically B-boying, or breakdancing for those of you who are culturally unaware). Writing so prolifically was and still is a display and extension of my Hip-Hop credentials. I wanted to say, “not only am I a bad-ass mover, I also have a way with words, like Rakim or Bigg Jus.” My love for Hip-Hop culture and graffiti would fuse with and affect my writing, as well as fuel my interests in marketing and branding, even if my interest in them is on a somewhat subversive, Roland Barthes-like level.
One could suggest that Render Positive helped me re-establish and reconnect to my Hip-Hop roots. What’s more is the fact that writing helps keep food in my belly – something that rarely happens for b-boys or graffiti writers, travelling the country to reign supreme in various postcodes, but staying in relative obscurity. Injuries and fear of prison may have kept me away from some of my dancing and art, but writing has kept the fire burning. My aspirations now involve reigning supreme over the internet, as well as finding a way to steal the number zero.
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