Peace, Love, Fun and Words – By Sam Collins
Writing has always come easier to me than most other things I’ve tried.
Glacier climbing and the naked-flaming-trapeze most notably.
But during school and university I picked up some shitty habits.
I was incredibly lucky to have been nurtured in the belly of the good ‘ol fashioned British education system, but looking back it was all a little bit up its own derriere.
For all the whimsical joys of 17th century poetry or the rigour of an eight billion word history essay, day-to-day that style of writing serves absolutely no purpose.
It’s not going to help you write a compelling description for those jeans you’re flogging on eBay or why, for 32 marks, you shouldn’t have been given that parking ticket.
When we wrote essays at school, we were encouraged to write longer and longer sentences using words that fewer and fewer people would understand.
So, I left school with the writing style of a 14th century scribe – more commonly known these days as a “twat.”
This arcane writing style did open a few doors – but always to peculiar places. I had a patchy freelance life, blogging about baths and reviewing restaurants.
It was a laugh. Until I got wrinkly and fat.
Then, I realised a Copywriter was actually a real job.
That I could write embarrassingly few words.
And get paid for it.
As long as those words were absolute flames, obv.
So, I went to SCA.
And it hit me like the proverbial train.
Here I learnt to write less like the wanker I wasn’t, and more like the legend I am.
Can you tell?
We had classes at SCA from the legendary likes of Vikki Ross, Caroline Hampstead, Pete Cain and Chris Hill.
They introduced me to the craft of copywriting.
And it was so refreshingly different to essay writing.
I was shown the greats – Bernbach, Abbott, Brignall, Wear, Webster.
It was a different language to the one I’d learnt in school.
SCA taught me to play with words in new ways, how to think different and how to go about finding your tribe.
It totally changed my approach to writing and idea making.
A special mention too to Dave Trott, whose staccato, eye-of-the-needle style will keep you nailed to the mast of his every story – couldn’t recommend him more highly.
Even after almost a year writing ads, you can probably still hear that pretentiousness seeping in – old habits die hard and all that.
But I definitely write in shorter sentences now.
Go to SCA, learn how to relax into your writing, toss those words around your brain, across the page and into the outstretched arms of indebted clients who weep at your genius.
And remember, it’s a living you’re stealing.
Peace, love, fun and words.