Hello, and welcome to my brain. Normally, I try to keep things pretty observational on this here blog, but I think it’s time we take our relationship to the next level. And, if I am really blogging about my “2 year journey through portfolio school” as my little blurb says, y’all deserve some sincere introspection.
Up until now, I haven’t had any cause for self-doubt much at the Circus. Without strict comparison to others, which I avidly refrain from, I judged myself to be about on the same page as everyone else. Then Headlines came and smashed my face up against the 2-way mirror of life and said “see those kids? Huh? You see all those kids out there? They are better than you, punk!”
For those of you who don’t know, headlines is a class in which we write headlines (duh) for a different product every week. 100 of them. Yeah, I’m sure those of you in the industry are like “puh-lease, I could do that in my sleep.” Well I’m not in the industry, alright, so BACK OFF. Sorry, I’m sure you’re very nice people. What I mean is, this is my first experience with quantity writing. And on top of that, we have to develop our own strategies and do our own research.
PAUSE – Before you call the wahhhbulance, let it be known: I understand the value of this and I appreciate the exercise and know that each week I am only getting stronger as I push myself through this. Our teacher, Greg Grantham is both honest and supportive, as are most teachers here, and I feel in capable hands. The circus is a wonderful place and I cannot stress that enough. – PLAY
I fucking suck at strategy. Like, beyond suck. Like, me trying to come up with consumer insight about a specific salsa means I eat the entire jar and then look at it and go, “yes, you are delicious. Okay, now what?” And thus, my headlines suffer. But even if I was a genius with strategy (which I hope to be after I complete Strategy class), the task of condensing a whole idea into a single sentence is mind-bottling. (Blades of Glory. Look it up.)
I am a writer’s writer. I write using words. A lot of words. And I often repeat myself using a lot of other words to make a point about the fact that I am used to using a lot of words. In a short story, or even a poem, we get creative license to say as much or as little as we want to convey themes and emotions, develop plots and character arcs. Basically, I can write body copy for days. But a headline? A headline has to succinctly express a single idea. A good headline should be on strategy and provocative. A great headline should take the strategy and push it to the darkest corners of its box to find something completely unexpected. In one. Fucking. Sentence. See? Mind-bottling.
So there you have it folks. My first episode of “maybe I can’t actually do this.” But isn’t it that self-doubt that pushes us into the dark abyss? To prove our little voices wrong? Well, I suppose that is what weeds out the weak ones. When you come to the edge of your confidence, and there is no more trail in front of you, and the guardrails on the steps to the peak are broken, will you climb on?
My answer is yes. Always yes. Even if I have to use the flashlight on my iPhone, dark abyss, I will make you my bitch.