Day 13: Melissa Fagan


Welcome to Day 13 of the totally unofficial EWF Book Club.

Hmm, should I talk politics? Should I comment on the change  of Prime Minister overnight? Hmm…

I’ll think about it… while you click the ‘continue reading’ link…


Today we discuss Melissa Fagan’s Writing for Work and Writing for Play.

Hooray for Copywriters!

Sorry, just had to get that out of my system. You see Mel’s a copywriter [rule 1: shorten name of person or business early in an ad, makes them sound ‘familiar’] and so am I. [rule 2: talk about yourself or the client last in the sentence.] So it’s great to read from someone on ‘my team’. Even if radio copy and web/print copy do have significant differences.

It was great to read Melissa’s ‘writing journey’ story, full of real details.

“In amongst the drinking binges and $1 Whoppers I pondered that big question…”

And fascinating to read of her changing attitude to copywriting, after ‘the great novel’ didn’t quite happen. I really enjoyed reading of the importance of stories in copywriting (If I could click “+1” in my book Melissa, I would be wearing out the button) and her pretty successful attempt at explaining the real nuts n bolts of what we do.

Despite battling jetlag (she’s just arrived in Barcelona) Melissa was kind enough to contribute her thoughts behind her essay:

It was supposed to be a practical guide to copywriting, answering questions like: What is copywriting? What skills and talents do you need? How do you become a copywriter? How does copywriting inhibit and enhance your creative writing?

But then I started writing, and as so often happens, I ended up somewhere else entirely, pondering the kinds of questions that can only really be answered – if they can be answered at all – through narrative: What kind of writer did I want to be? What kind of writer am I? How could I write an article about how to become a copywriter when I never set out to become one?

Though narrative, too, has its limitations: it is by nature somewhat static, anchored as it is in a particular time and place. Just as my conclusion of my piece for the Emerging Writer – that of my two writing lives being in a state of equilibrium – reflects how I felt when I wrote it. When The Emerging Writer went to print, I was swamped with copywriting work and the idea of there being a ‘writing for work = time to write for play’ equation seemed ridiculous. Life, unlike a piece of writing, is not static. Everything is always in flux. But then I’m jetlagged as I write this, having just arrived in Europe from Australia at solstice, so any conclusion I might come to will probably be a reflection of my neither-here-nor-there state of mind.

What did you get out of  Writing for Work and Writing for Play?
Hit the comments below!

Come back at midday tomorrow and we’ll feature…


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Know someone who could benefit from this 36 day ‘writers bootcamp’?  
Here’s today’s tweet to spread the word!

How you can write for work (rest?) AND play. Copywriting with @miss_lissliss in today’s #EWFbookclub  <click to tweet this>

If you’re not a Twitter user, a quick link to this post on your Facebook, blog or similar would be appreciated.

Thanks for joining the totally unofficial EWF book group – see you tomorrow!


About Gabe McGrath

Freelance writer, radio creative, retro gamer and a dad. Gabe's writing has appeared in , My Child, Retro Gamer, , & more. Editor in Chief of JustOneMoreGame
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