We were instructed to write about our “POV”. In other words, write whatever we want to our strategy instructor. A bit of a stream of consciousness, but with a little more intent. The excessive use of new paragraphs for pacing.
This semester felt like a long one.
Not necessarily because of an overwhelming work load, although I’m sure that contributes too. But it’s because, as much as I hate admitting it (I love corn, but I hate corny), I’ve come a long way this semester in terms of self-discovery.
Now before you roll your eyes at me, Cameron, let me try to explain.
When I was ten, I thought myself an artistic person. The rest of my life I’ve been (stubbornly) academically bookish, until I almost failed the terrible combination of Econ 4 and Accounting.
Then I made the natural progression from Economics to International Studies to Advertising.
I’d like to say that my foray back into the right brain started post-college, when I unintentionally took a year off anything productive to dance. I learned that there’s a subtle difference between executing moves well, and really dancing. There are those people who seem to have music in their veins, and their movements have breath in the beats where there is no choreography. I have learned the feel of a routine that has movement just for the sake of movement, and I have learned how a truly organic piece of choreography feels.
Sometimes I feel freest when my movement is choreographed and my words are scripted.
There is a connection between dance and copywriting, although the exact explanation is as elusive as my puppy when faced with the nail clipper.
As a kid, I was always waiting for my superhero power to finally kick in. And I used to ask my mom repeatedly if she was sure I wasn’t adopted.
I loved my parents, but the heroes in my books never came from a real, perfect families. It wasn’t until college that I learned about the hero cycle and how true that archetype was. Thanks, Campbell.
The books I read repeatedly are fantastical. I have read the Harry Potter series uncountable times (with no shame), and the His Dark Materials trilogy is one of my favorites.
The point I’m trying to make is that
I believe in magic.
For some reason, I think that sometimes, there is so much more truth in something magical than in something we consider “real”.
Like the news. Which is concerned with facts, but not truth.
I could tell you that I’ve learned a lot about the creative process this semester, that marshmallows and raw spaghetti are interesting metaphors for creating, that I now wonder how so-and-so photographer saw this image of this oyster as a result of her own filter.
I could tell you that His Dark Materials is about spirituality but not religion, and that The Things They Carried is about a loss of innocence that is felt but not explained, and that neither of these stories were grounded in fact, but they made me feel something realer than most of what I read in the news.
It is a lofty ideal, perhaps, for advertising, an industry concerned with wit, cheek, and allusions.
But I don’t think it’s too lofty to fit into advertising. Because I’ve seen, this semester, that when I do write for my projects, it turns out well. My illustrations aren’t as funky as Silky’s or as polished as Marianna’s, but they like my writing. I read somewhere that I should spend my time doing what I do well, and not trying to make up for what I can’t, but it didn’t hit – really, viscerally hit – until this semester. Because there is a place for my words in this business, and that’s just overwhelming and relieving.
Somewhere in this industry there is a place for a writer who believes in magic, and I will find it, and I will write and write and write.