As A Writer, You Want Other Writers As Readers

I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but it can be weird on this side of the screen sometimes, not knowing who’s out there or who really cares. I think that’s one of the great things about being a musician or stage actor–musicians and stage actors play live and get a visceral reaction from the crowd. For the most part, they know what’s working and what isn’t.
So, it’s nice when a note comes in that brings a bit of clarity to the ever-present mystery. I got such a note this morning. It came from Luke Sullivan, one of the great copywriters working today. Turns out he just discovered this blog and he likes it.
Sullivan, of course, wrote the book Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide To Creating Great Ads. He also has an ad blog called Hey Whipple, where he recently dusted off an old piece from 1981, “How I Learnt To Write Copywriting.” Here’s how it begins…

C’mere, punk. Shuddup. Listen.
I didn’t learn to write at some fancy-ass ad school. My dad, he worked minimum-wage at a fish stick factory and he died fallin’ out of a fifth-story window onto a bike rack. So I had to learn this shit the hard way. On the streets. The docks. Wherever the adjectives were free and concepts came a dime a dozen.

Sullivan is also sharing some interesting photos on Flickr, including photos from his days at Fallon.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.