I began my career in marketing at age eight, writing commercials and ad-copy for Barbie, K-Tel Records and most cereal manufacturers. What can I say? I watched a lot of television. It rubbed off. I was a slogan writer and tagline zinger early in my career and I still pay attention to what messaging works and how to get the point across with clear, concise words.
By ten I was well on my way to writing fiction. I had mastered plot and characters, even featured my own brother in a murder mystery that was destined to be a made-for-television movie, until it got shelved. The point is I was writing. Poems, songs, (Jewel, eat your heart out), ballads, short plays and dialogue.
Then came parody writing. While other kids were playing with Atari joysticks, I took songs on the radio and rewrote them with new themes. Weird Al had nothing on me, (except age and curly hair). These anecdotal songs thrust me into the public school spotlight and I had nowhere to go but to the school newspaper, where I discovered journalism. This was right around the time I discovered Canadian literature and realized home grown talent has a voice all it’s own, and I wanted to sing with the choir.
I was published in short fiction at the age of 18 and the love affair with words was official. After a stint in York University’s Creative Writing program, and a degree in Canadian Studies, I learned the skills of research and the power of words to prove a point. It was pure adrenaline. I wanted to be a writer and nothing was going to stop me, not even my Dad – who insisted I would starve to death. I love to be told I cannot do something. It only fuels the fire to white hot to get it done.
I enjoyed a long career in the telecom industry (I was a Bell baby), and an accidental brochure writing assignment turned into a full-fledged career as a corporate writer for both Mobility Canada and ClearNET. The rest, as they say, is history.
Marshall McCluhan had it right: the medium is the message. I use words to get the message across – be it corporate writing, web content, speeches, advertising copy, press releases or my journalism pieces.
Writing isn’t what I do; it’s who I am. I love to meet interesting people, constantly learn new things and tell great stories that are positive and have the ability to change the world. When I’m inspired, it’s contagious. Writing helps me spread the word.