Hello, marketing blog readers! I have a question for you. It’s a slight departure from my usual “5 Tips for Better Marketing Copy” format, but stay with me.
Here’s my question: What the heck is going on?
Yesterday, riding the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan, a woman spilled coffee on my shoe and didn’t say a word. Five minutes later, a very wide and very tall man—he was, literally, twice my height—blocked the subway train doors and then body checked me as I tried to exit. “Hey,” I said, but he didn’t look up from his phone.
The final blow was the Duane Reade checkout girl who, when asked where one could find Band-Aids, could muster only a slow, heavy wave towards the back of the store.
When I arrived at my destination—a birthday party in Tribeca—I shared these indignities with a friend. “And THEN he had the audacity to just keep walking,” I whined, with equal parts martyrdom and moral outrage. I expected validation and agreement. Instead, my friend said, “Have you ever thought about gratitude?”
Here we go, I thought. Does the self-help never end? Gratitude trees and mindfulness meditation and #blessed, #grateful, #MyLifeIsASeaOfNonstopJoy. Sigh.
Why yes, I have thought about gratitude. I feel it every day; some days, more than others. But do I think it’s a fairy dust that turns life into a movie musical with singing street sweepers and bus drivers who give you flowers when you board? No. No, I don’t.
“I have an idea,” my friend continued. “Let’s each write a thank you note to the universe. Maybe focus on one aspect of our lives.”
I’ll be perfectly honest: I thought it was an absurd idea. But since I take all assignments seriously, I did it. Here’s what I came up with…
Dear gratitude overlords,
I want to thank you for my job. It occurs to me that I am lucky to really like my work—to find meaning in it; to feel like my creativity is stretched and strengthened every day; and to know my natural skills are being put to positive use. Also, I’m happy that I can pay my bills, so thanks for that, too.
(I work as a marketing copywriter, btw. Not sure how overlords keep track of mere mortals: Are we chip ID’ed? Assigned a personal overlord? Is there a giant spreadsheet in the sky that records our thankfulness on some kind of gratitude-ometer?) Anyway, that’s my gig. I write copy for humans.
I love it for a lot of reasons:
I said this before, but it bears repeating. There are few things more rewarding than rendering an article, a newsletter, a web page, or a simple turn of phrase that communicates the exact emotion you want your reader to connect with. The copy could be funny; it could be earnest; it could be technical. But when it works, when it matches a company’s overall messaging and vibe, you know. And it feels great.
Every day is a surprise.
Products vary; campaigns start and end; clients change. I learn something new every day, and I never get bored.
Content creation is collaborative.
You might think writing is a solitary endeavor. But in marketing copywriting, creating a successful campaign, website, newsletter, what have you, it takes a village. Client meetings, editor brainstorming sessions, internal content reviews: I dig the interactivity of it all.
Copywriting is about problem-solving, and problem-solving is my jam.
More than a few writer friends would view what I write next as treason, but I really like incorporating client feedback into my first and second drafts. It’s like a puzzle or an episode of MacGyver—How do I make all of these things work together?—and it speaks to my resourcefulness and the part of my soul that thrills at finding solutions.
My MarketSmiths colleagues are awesome.
I love talking shop with my fellow MarketSmiths’ writers and editors. Do semicolons look weird in web copy? Is it okay to write the singular third person possessive pronoun as plural? What’s better: lists or long-form? My colleagues are funny and quirky and incredibly smart. Just sitting beside them elevates my writing.
So thanks for my job, universe. (And thanks to the friend who suggested I write this letter.) Bless all the people I’ve had the good fortune to work with this year, and keep them healthy and safe during the holidays.
I know, despite my snark, that #YouDoActuallyGetWhatYouGive in this life. Still, if anyone unapologetically spills coffee on me tomorrow, I’m going to lose it. Just kidding. Sort of. Not really.
To learn more about MarketSmiths outside-the-box copywriting and creative content marketing ideas, drop us a line. Happy Thanksgiving!