samedi 30 janvier 2016

The Rewards of Being "so Lucky"

First off, to you my tiny twelve followers, I don't blog anymore. You probably miss my poorly-written low-end music analysis, but that's just how it is. I'm sorry. I started Tu Joues? as a writing practice when I was in Cambridge learning english, but life moves on while Blog stays behind. The reason for me to write today is because I write every day as a copywriter in New York, and I need that to get better. Significantly better. This post is my candidature to the DamnFine Words writing contest, organized by Men With Pens, and offering a ten-week online writing course to the winner.

My New York settlement is probably one the boldest and most emotionally intense event in my life. I always dreamed about being an advertiser in New York. And after I graduated last May, I was finally set to start this chapter of my life. I already got my U.S. working Visa, I earned enough money over the summer in France to make it happen, and I had until November 16th to find a job. There was no real obstacle between me and the city. But suddenly, something unexpected happened at home and I had to stay and help my parents. I remember that violent pain in the chest when my parents told me, like if someone stabbed me or something. Of course, I couldn't be angry at them, they needed my help. Although, everyday spent at home seemed like my hopes to make it to New York were being carried further and further away. Until October 30th, a Friday morning, when my mother told me they had found a solution. I could finally leave, and yet I was scared. I had barely two weeks left to find a job. But I decided to go no matter what. On Saturday I told my girlfriend I was leaving, on Sunday I booked my plane ticket, and on Monday, I was sleeping in New York. No time to fool around -as soon as I landed I got a phone number and went to the public library every day to access internet and network. After five days, a one day trip to L.A., and some hundred something emails sent, I met Daniel Korkhov, co-founder of Ludique, a small advertising agency whose work I couldn't find anywhere. I was very intrigued.

We met on a morning in a café, I had a hair cut before because I wanted to present myself at my best. After we sat, he started “Okay, I am going to be honest with you.” I knew it was going to be bad. You never hear someone say this and they tell you you're the best whatever in the world, so I prepared myself for the worst. He glanced at me and said “you are close to average, average at most.” Boy, it was the first time someone ever told me that. I was kind of glad actually, of him being so straight with me. Then we went over my portfolio that I had sent him the day before, and he made comments for each work, before finally handing me the agency's portfolio. At that moment I almost fainted. It was world-class advertising, pieces of art put together for commercial purposes. He earned my complete admiration, but also sort of broke my heart as I knew he would never hire me after what was said in the meeting. I gave him back the cellphone, he laid back in his chair, paused for a few seconds, then looked at me and said “if you want, you can come work by my side.” I was completely lost. Why? How? Somehow, Daniel found a certain affection for me and decided to mentor me through my beginnings in advertising, and it's now been three months we work together.

You want to know why I participate in the Damn Fine Words writing contest? If you care digging through my blog, you'll see my writing skills have been propelled to a whole new level in a few years. It's actually pretty good, considering the world's average level of writing. But let's face the truth, Daniel was right, I'm an “average at most” in copywriting. I got to realize it by myself too once I started writing real-life copies on a daily basis and that I'd take a lot more time to write and proof-read than I should. My ambition being ruthless though, in a heart-beat I took a radical turn to foster my english. I picked up reading again, about three books a month on average, and about hundreds of Flipboard's headlines per day for their succinctness. Regarding my grammar issue, I invested in a couple of grammar and copywriting textbooks to solidify my writing's foundations. Yes, I am dedicated to become a first-rank copywriter. But regardless of how much effort I will put into this complete self-reformatting, in the end I will only become a good copywriter. I'm not aiming for good, I'm heading for the excellence. Especially since I have someone behind me spending his time and energy for me, someone that believes in me. It is my duty to try as hard as I can to succeed. And that's why I'm competing for the scholarship.

Finally, what I'd like to do with better writing skills is to write meaningful advertising. I know only too much how people consider advertising to be a shameless immoral practice. And I understand how the confusion could occur, too. I wrote a thirteen page paper on the subject, which actually got published -I'd say I'm a published author if my writing wasn't so average. However, I prefer to look at advertising as a powerful tool to bring people to develop a sense of critical thinking, essence of free thinking -I'm not trying to start a hard-determinism vs free will debate. From raising questions about life, to opening your mind, and all the way to coming up with concepts like the democracy, critical thinking is an asset which I believe has the potential to change the world. The advertising which promote such education, are those good captivating oblique ads that stops you, engaging then a reflection, and creating a reaction almost unique to each of us. Those ads are the fruit of three competences put at work together
First, you need to be an advertising nerd with a theoretical expertise as sharp as a knife. Great social skills comes next, being naturally good at communicating. And finally you need to be an amazing copywriter who's able to pitch meaningful ideas in a clear, concise and compelling way. Fortunate enough, I was born naturally good at communicating and I got so passionate in my studies that I have a very good picture of the theoretical aspect of advertising. You got the idea, I really need to step up that writing.

It's funny, this whole narrative reminds me of my ex-girlfriend. She used to say “You're so lucky” because of events like me finding a copywriter job in just a week in New York. Between you and I, if the rewards of living your life with nerves is being lucky, then yeah, in fact, I'm damn lucky.

2 commentaires:

  1. IMPRESSED! Good luck.This is good news and a positive step. I am pleased you have got so far. Keep writing. And i will keep reading what you write.

  2. IMPRESSED! Good luck.This is good news and a positive step. I am pleased you have got so far. Keep writing. And i will keep reading what you write.