Why I Write

While attempting to organize my body of work for my personal site, I’ve found it a bit challenging to categorize it. I’ve worn so many hats for various clients that it is difficult to narrow down the work. As a copywriter and art director, often I’ve been part of the key team who is coming up with the concepts, messaging and brand identity. However, I have found that my passion lies in writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love visual design, but time passes quickly when I am writing. It just flows. Visual design, I think for many designers, is always a painful process. It’s not easy to come up with brilliant designs and new concepts. I have found that many of my visual concepts that I am most proud of play largely on photographic imagery. I do believe a picture is worth a thousand words. Being married to a photographer and having a past life as a fashion model helps to contribute to this conviction.

While it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, a few words, well positioned, have tremendous impact. I have always loved writing as far back as I can remember. I have been writing in journals since I was eight, journal after journal and then short stories, and beginnings, middles and ends of novels. I developed an urge and love for travel early on. I traveled and lived in many countries, as well as in many cities here in the USA. For me, writing is like traveling. When I write for a client, I travel to my client’s world. I think about who they are, who they are trying to reach, and which combination of words will cause their audience to react.

There are many different categories of writing today but for me writing is writing whether a few words for a tag line, headline or advertisement or many words for a press release, web site or catalog. When I write for a project, I delve deep. If I don’t understand the company, I will. If it’s a new industry I have never written for, this does not deter me. I like research, and I’m a voracious absorber of knowledge. I never tire of learning a new subject. I’m a quick study.

Many times I will have a client ask me if I know the industry. Or they ask me to show them samples of past work in that industry. Sometimes I know the industry, sometimes I don’t. For example, I knew nothing about the biotech world when I began working on the Invivoscribe account over 4 years ago (a molecular diagnostic company) but I wrote 80% of the content on their website in 4 weeks (a Davey Award winner). I have gone on to write for their subsidiary companies including AML Alliance and most recently, Genection, a medical service provider in the field of genetics – a field I knew very little about. For Genection, I developed their tagline “We Navigate for You” as well as all of their headline text and the majority of their web content and copywriting for printed materials and press releases. For the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, a nonprofit biomedical research center, I developed 80% of their web content and their tagline, “Finding Cures Faster” my first venture into medical research.

And then there was Bet Tracker, a new challenge. I was asked to develop, message and write a brochure and web content for a sports betting company, to be marketed to the UK. I’m not British. I don’t watch sports. Yoga is my sport and the occasional martial art. I didn’t understand sports betting, parlays, over/unders, etc. But, I did my research, I determined their edge and developed content for a large brochure, event materials, web content and print advertising. Bet Tracker ended up winning the gaming web app award of the year in the UK along with a Silver Davey Award for the printed brochure.

In my history of writing and designing, I have had the pleasure of working in women’s retail, baby & children’s retail (eggy.com and babybarefootin.com), children’s wholesale (wording for silkscreens and labeling), political materials, luxury retail brands, education, finance, insurance, travel and hospitality. Travel, hospitality, and retail are no brainers for me. Causes and education are close to my heart and easy to be passionate when writing for or about these subjects.

As I am creating this website, I have given much thought to what I like to write and which industries I prefer. I have come to realize I truly do enjoy a mix of all industries. I write for impact, no matter what the industry. I write to create a feeling — trust, joy, comfort, happiness, peace, fear, anger, doubt. I write to make someone stop and think. To hear why their message matters, why the company matters, no matter what the industry.

Together, design + meaning implant a seed and cause people to react. This is why I write.