Thursday, June 22, 2006

What I do

When people ask me what I do for a living, it's kind of hard to explain. I usually just say, "I'm in advertising." That, however, is vague enough they usually follow up with, "What do you do exactly?"


"I'm a copywriter".


At this point people assume I'm some kind of lawyer dealing with trademarks and little C's with circles around them. Depending on how much I care about the person I'm having this discussion with, I may or may not clarify:

"I write ads."

This is funny because sometimes people don't realize ads have words.

"Oh! TV commercials and stuff?"

Yes. Kind of. But not really. There isn't much TV done with clients in this small of a market, and I'm low enough on the totem pole that I've only written one TV spot.

"Kind of. I write some radio commercials, and stuff in newspapers and magazines. I also write web sites, brochures...anything a company produces that needs words, I write."

It's at about this point that people smile and nod and pretend they care and change the subject.

In my defense, I think I have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I mean, it's one of those jobs where, if I told people the projects I work on they'd think, "Someone get's paid to do that??" Yeah. Me.

Said projects include:
• Naming a hotel in Park City
• You know that letter from the gas company in your utility bill? Yeah. I wrote it.
• Putting catchy phrases on pencils that companies hand out
• Ever noticed funny things written on your cup or bag from a fast food place?
• Writing and entire Christmas catalog for a local dry goods company

Now, the next time you get a napkin with your meal, and there's something even remotely clever written on it, stop and observe a moment of silence in honor of the poor copywriter who labored for hours trying to come up with exactly the right wording for that napkin...before you blow your nose in it.