talking to myself

you’ve got to know your audience.

when i first started out as an advertising copywriter in the 70s, i was told to have a specific person in mind when I wrote.  one book suggested i write to my grandmother. if i could make her understand whatever i was selling i’d have done my job. for a while i wrote to a cousin, though he never knew it. i’d craft my copy in the form of a letter to him,  translating technical speak into a personal conversation and make my way through my project. but the imaginary audience that worked best of all was my farmer. a poster of an aging farmer, dressed in denim overalls and leaning on a wooden fence, hung above my grey IBM Selectric typewriter. i’d gaze into his eyes and commence to type.

Those were the days before Macs and copy and delete keys.

Those were the days I’d scribble out the first draft by hand on a yellow legal pad. when i thought the copy was close to being finished, i’d transfer to the typewriter.

so who is my audience now?  i have no account executives or copy director or exacting client to review copy and make comments.  i’ve been set free from writing for the approval of others.

this blog is for me only. after 30+ years of writing for others, being edited by others and being confined by creative briefs and clients’ demands, i am writing for me. should my family and friends and occasional stranger who happens upon this blog wish to read it, welcome.  but this is an exercise for me.

here i will describe our next steps as a family, our breaking free of what is normal and traditional, our setting out to experience life with a new language in a new land. i hope to leave a collection of observations for my daughter that allows her to get to know me in a different way.

and i want to see where faith fits in all of this moving around and meeting new people and adapting new ways.i look forward to seeing what remains constant in our changing world. i hope to become a wiser, kinder, more observant and patient woman.

so, this is all about me then. and my audience may be limited to just a few. but right now that is fine. i have nothing new to say that hasn’t been said much better by someone else.  but i will discover new things for me.

read along if you wish. or not.




21 thoughts on “talking to myself

  1. I think of you everytime we receive a FootSmart catalog. When Ruth was living in Carterville she shared a catalog with us. She was proud of your writing talent. I am not sure if you were writing to your cousin or the farmer hanging on your typewriter but I thought you were amazing. 💕


  2. I understand completely–that feeling of wanting to write for yourself after years of writing for others, reflecting their voices, opinions and objectives. I’m not sure but what I may feel a little like an eavesdropper reading your posts, but since you invite us in, I may relish indulging in that taboo!


  3. I think you are going to have a wonderful Blog and what a fantastic adventure you and your family are going on. I saw a Blog that was written in English / French. It was very nice. So, you will have an English / Spanish one very soon! Good luck, safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holy cannoli, Nancy, you’re channeling me! I’m still an ad writer, but also beginning to blog. If I could only figure out how to manage widgets and settings, etc. I might actually even enjoy it. I will be following you with much interest and frequent cheering.


    • i don’t envy you the deadlines or crunches…but advertising was fun for a long time. i just got too old for it! as my friend said, our elastic got stretched too tight. we couldn’t bounce back as easily. right now i’m struggling with why i have no paragraph breaks in my copy. where’s tech support when you need them! look forward to reading more of your blogs.


  5. Pingback: talking to myself | But wait — there's more!

  6. “i’ve been set free from writing for the approval of others.” – Now I see why you’ve abandoned a few conventions of writing. 🙂 Bold move, my friend and best wishes on your life’s journey and this blog.


  7. Nancy I have no idea who my audience is either. I’m in advertising. I’m 50 and was recently told I have to switch careers. I’ve been fighting cancer. I hope whoever my audience is will be encouraged by my blog. Keep doing what you’re doing. I’m excited to follow you and read what comes next!!


  8. Thank you for your comment about my “about me” page. Also welcome to the world of retirement. I hope things go so well that you love it.
    I began on a whim of counting how many more Fridays I had before retiring. The countdown began at 78 Fridays and it wasn’t long before many of the office people were asking me “How many Fridays left”. I ended up leaving at plus eleven. Those 89 weeks went by very quickly.
    Again. Happy Retirement.


  9. It must feel so great to be free to write for yourself after having a demanding, deadline-based job for so long. I’m excited to read along for your future journey.


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