True, Robert, very true.
Conversely, the bad ones, of which there are many, bore the pants off us.
I’m not exactly giving away a trade secret when I say if what you’ve written – or paid to have written – bores you, then think what on earth do you think it does to your readers?
People describing themselves as “storytellers” seem to have proliferated in the same way that each summer clouds of flying ants suddenly emerge from the cracks in the pavements.
They are irritating, get up your nose, and on your skin, but soon disappear.
If you are looking for someone to actually grab an audience by the lapels and hook them in, where should you begin?
Journalists are a good start. Not a sentence you will hear that often, I grant you, and of course there’s more than a little self interest here, seeing as I’ve been a journalist and broadcaster for 30 years plus.
But it is true.
They can sniff out a story and know exactly what will chime with a particular audience. It’s almost a sixth sense. They can pick out a great top line or angle. It’s an instinct.
Plus they are used to working quickly and to a deadline.
And they know other journalists and how newsrooms actually work. A pretty big plus when you want to sell your story in.
From a personal point of view, it’s the satisfaction of being able to transform a project that, on the face of it, looks pretty dry and uninspiring, into something that sings.
When I’ve written something really good, I hear that sweet connection that a cricketer hears when they strike a perfectly timed cover drive to the boundary right off the meat of the bat, or a great striker connecting perfectly with a volley that flies into the top corner.
It’s as physical as that.
I’m delighted to be working with Joy Lewis, another former journo, who runs Honest Cat Content Services.
We just get each other. We know what works.
And no, I didn’t pay her to write this. I didn’t need to, she’s a writer.
“Andy brings the written word to life. He grasps a brief and then works his magic, producing sparky, engaging copy for clients every time. Always on time and on message. I have 100% confidence in him.”
Swat away those pesky flying ants. Instead, invest in quality and experience.
Trust me, it does pay.