Copywriters rarely get to talk about themselves.
We're usually talking about your product. But here's my
story. It's not your typical copywriter's
I knew I was going to be a writer when I was about six.
And here I am. With a bachelor of commerce in marketing
and an MBA to boot. Clients in several countries.
Writing to my heart's content.
Not exactly what I had in mind when I was a kid.
When I wasn't catching frogs, riding horses, canoeing, and
playing badminton, I spent about four hours a day reading
(ten on weekends). My parents made me turn off my light about
nine o'clock. So then I'd get out my flashlight.
I wanted to move people the way other writers
moved me. I wrote plays and made my friends act them out in
English class. Always top marks for creativity
(even grammar, too!) on writing assignments.
But you know how it goes--you grow up, get practical.
'Practical' for me meant business--commerce,
economics, marketing... So I moved to the city from my tiny
village in Nova Scotia to learn how all that stuff worked.
I majored in accounting at first. The logic
appealed to me. The first year, all my balance sheets balanced...
But by the second year, I knew I wouldn't be anyone's accountant.
The psychology, the creativity of marketing
got to me. Consumer behavior, market research, distribution,
advertising--I was hooked. I loved how you could find the
answers by knowing your customers.
Well, my bachelor of commerce degree soon led to an MBA.
Meanwhile, my passion for marketing took on practical form.
I worked for Sales & Marketing Group
(now Mosaic Inc.) I led local campaigns to increase
brand share for consumer products. My teams dressed up like
mascots for Hostess Frito Lay, sampled Pepsi Max, secured
distribution for Neilson Cadbury (I think all that chocolate
is one of the reasons I got such good grades).
I joined the Centre for International Business and accompanied
local firms to Europe. Setting up meetings,
presentations, writing research reports...I managed to tuck
consulting experience for a few firms under my belt while
I was still in school.
But I was ready to travel more. After graduation,
my classmates soon became important people in big companies.
I had been their career placement officer--they shook their
heads as I took off to become a language consultant in
I studied Japanese and consulted at the
board of education in Hakodate, Hokkaido. But finally I decided
it was time to enter the world of business in Tokyo.
That's when I became a copywriter. Before I even knew I wanted
to be one.
I moved to Tokyo and joined forces with a division of the
world's largest telecommunications company. I wanted to be
a translator--but they spotted a better use for me and hired
me as a copywriter. When I wasn't writing
copy, I helped with translation (it was like getting paid
to study Japanese!) And I put on fancy shmancy seminars for
Japanese business people who had dealings across cultures.
I worked with the pickiest people on the face of this earth.
Picky in a good way, I mean. Diligent. I practically memorized
the Chicago Manual of Style. Everything I wrote had to stand
up to scrutiny and cross examination, in addition to being
interesting, creative, and compelling.
I'd always been a hard-working perfectionist. Now that's
not always a good thing--but I loved working with the Japanese.
I admired the way my co-workers dug into a project and never
let less than the best leave their desks. Copywriting got
me. It was the perfect marriage of my marketing background
and my love for writing.
I was determined to write everything as if my own
signature would appear on it.
We worked side by side with the largest ad agency in Japan,
possibly in the world. Those weeks found me taking $50 cabs
home at night (the trains stop running around 11 p.m.)
Eventually, tired from the frantic pace of life in Tokyo,
I yearned to be closer to my family. With my youngest sister
in Florida, I thought the climate there would be more agreeable
than the Canadian winters.
So, next I joined forces with a medium-sized advertising
agency in Florida. Totally different. (In a good way, of course.)
Instead of mobile phones and multimedia tools,
I was writing for manufacturers of air intake filters and
fire trucks, equine embryo transfer, fitness centers, and
high vacuum components. Lots of medical copywriting,
too. Residential builders, custom closets, retail outlets...you
As time passed on, I became the senior copywriter at Adbiz,
a fabulous, high-energy advertising and marketing force.
In the spring of 2004, I began to explore another dimension
to my work as a professional writer and editor: travel writing!
Trips to Paris and Nova Scotia inspired this aspect of writing
for my personal pleasure, and I have plans for India next
(where I'll be getting married in December 2006).
Professionally, I've developed a specialization as a website
copywriter, where my ongoing research has kept me growing
and evolving for several years now. In 2005, I joined forces
with SEO Advantage,
a top-tier search engine optimization firm, as their marketing
Oh, and by the way, I speak, read, and write Japanese thanks
to Yamazaki Sensei, a very strict teacher who was assigned
to teach me the ropes in Hakodate.
Everyone's got a story. What's yours?
Drop me a line and tell me about yourself. Or ask about my
pricing for your next project...