Calling All Creative Heads

Alas! My website is taking shape. It actually looks and behaves somewhat like a website. I’m quite ready to release it to the world as there are still pages to write and design elements to tweak but it’s getting there. It’s very exciting.

The website is for my business idea, perhaps similar to other businesses already out there but we have more passion, more energy and more drive. I have numerous creative friends, talented in a range of different skills from writing to designing, each are amazing at what they do but they aren’t really very business-minded people. So my business is to offer all these services in one place, where I take care of all the administration, the website, the marketing and generally representing all the talents leaving my creative cohort to simply do what they do best, create!

I think that finding clients and marketing is the post problematic and daunting aspect of business, thankfully I’ve a fair bit of marketing and sales experience in my short working life (only a young’un you see) and I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. As the services we will be offering will be for businesses, to begin with anyway, I think that it’s important to know WHO exactly you are going to target, doing adequate research and directly offering services to fulfil a need in their business. I believe in content marketing and branding because quite frankly it works. You look at any of the biggest and best companies, Coca Cola, Virgin Media, Apple, they all have a very strong sense of who they are. And that is what we offer.

So I would like to build on our group of freelancers. If you have creative talents but are not sure how to actually make money from them then please contact me and we will have a chat. What can you contribute? What kind of money will you be earning? Upfront and honest. That’s all I’ll ever be. After all, there’s no harm in asking.

It’s perfect for people who are currently in full-time education or employment, have family or care commitments, regardless of what your current commitments are, it’s the kind of job that can earn you a bit of extra cash on the side. The bigger we grow the more business we can offer you and you can decide how many projects you’d like to take on at once. As long as you can deliver high-quality creative content to reasonable, pre-agreed deadlines then you’re exactly what we need.

We are aiming to be live by the end of September, hopefully businesses will have had a bit of a boost with the run up to Christmas and all, so over the following months we can show them that a branding revamp is exactly what they need for the new year to attract new customers and increase sales.

We are looking to build on the types of creative talents we can offer so if you’re not sure how your skills fits in, contact me, I’m sure we can find you a place. Here are some of the kinds of talents we are looking for:

  • Copywriters
  • Technical writers
  • Scientific writers
  • Business writers
  • Journalists
  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Graphic designers
  • Web designers
  • Publication designers
  • Typography designers

This is a change for you to make money doing what you love without all the business mayhem getting in the way. Thanks for reading, hopefully we will hear from some of you and good luck in all your pursuits!

Syncing

Lines in Helvetica
engineered to attract and dilate
the eyes,

To increase the incline,
to adjust our human cells
slightly.

Red faced and burnt fingered,
glossy pinperfect prints
feel more real than skin.

Forward facing cameras
monitor our expressions and
track how we read.

They make charts
to visualize
impressions.

Code-clicking
the human condition
into an algorithm.

We swallow down
stale bread, sugar coated.
We frantically breed-down

And kill-up the against
the shop front bricks.
A swarm of force fed

Swollen gullets receive
the seamless
wireless drip.

By Elexa Rose

The Air Vent

The only breeze I’ll know today is
The one thrust down from the plastic grate
Above my head.

I will staple the thin film of skin
That joins my forefinger and thumb
To see if they are watching from the vent.

Coffee gas and steam tea breathe in
And out of yellow teethlines,
Staining the numbers they strain to spout.

Shirt sleeves wipe the slate clean
Of brown and green bruises
For the fast talker, pen clicker type.

A pocket full of holes made by accumulated keys
Robin Hoods my loose change,
For the dogs and drug addicts on the street to find.

The air conditioning whistles and wheezes
Pausing every few moments
To catch syllable of silent sounds.

Elexa Rose

A Writers Plan of (In)Action

Well I have been working on a few poems, as mentioned in my previous post, and I wanted to post them on here but having done some more research I have decided against it. As is with all writers, I hope to one day be published, however I have found out that any work posted on a blog still counts as being previously published and could cause problems should I have a successful application with a literary journal or publisher. WELL. It’s a bit sad, because I really want to share my work but alas, I don’t want to hinder myself in the future. So with that in mind, I have constructed a plan for getting published.

 

  1. Finish at least 20 poems that work separately and as a collection. I need to get a proper collection together. And I’m forever reading my poems and thinking, no this is not finished. I also need to learn when enough has been done and to just leave it be. Which leads me onto my next point…
  2. Set up writers forum with writer friends. I have quite a few writer friends which is great! And we’ve long dreamed about setting up our own little forum. I tried, but getting it together is harder than it seems. But we must all try again, we want to get a private forum set up online so we can share our work and get feedback. Once I’ve got 20 poems I am relatively happy with I’d like to relinquish them to my writer friends for criticism. Then work on them and get them to a point where I think, hell yeah these should be published.
  3. Methodically send poems too literary journals. My plan is to start small, send out my work to the lesser known journals and magazines first. See what response I get, if any. And  if do my plan is to rejoice! And tell you all about it on this blog. After I’ve been somewhat successful I will attempt to send work to the bigger journals and cross all my fingers and toes.
  4. During my time of sending out poems to journals I will be working on a second collection of poems, hopefully better developed and what not. This, I will try to send out as a complete collection to publishers. Hopefully by this point my name will have cropped up once or twice in a journal or magazine and this will work in my favour. I will keep going, and with every rejection I’ll send out 5 more applications. And if they all reject me, well then I guess I’ll just have to write better poems.
  5. Publish myself. This is always an option, though I’m not too sure at the moment how I would go about this. I would like to set up my own online literary journal or magazine, something with a twist, something grimy and dark. Something that breaks the rules and makes people feel uncomfortable when their reading it. Like a terrible accident you can’t look away from.

 

However it happens, I just want to write and write and write and push it out into the world with all the might and clamour possible. I want to make a noise and be heard and maybe make a difference. Ah, the dream of every writer. This is why I seriously want to organise a network, meet-ups in local Nottingham pubs with quiet corners. Share work and notes and put our heads together and help each other. There are a number of writing groups in the local area already. One in particular that does quite well for itself, but has the air of being somewhat elitist and ‘money grabbing’. I realise that things cost, but there is no need to charge ridiculous amounts for little bit of service you provide. My network will aim to be as free as possible, or where this is not possible, cheap and affordable. Art is about sharing not about making money. And by sharing I mean the original, honest true meaning of the word. Not something you do on social media accounts, something you do with people you actually interact with face-to-face, the touchy-feely kind of sharing that happens when you talk to someone and see the way the words take shape on their mouth before you hear them. See their expressions and share the experience. I want a real-life, honest art community, and I want it now.

Writing in a Digital Pandemic

I am obsessed with digitisation and technology at the moment. The poems I am currently working on reflect this, even the novel I have in works has very strong technological themes, and this is for a number of reasons.

  1. I work for an IT company so I have to know about the latest tech and cloud happenings.
  2. Technology is everywhere. We have literally become overrun by screens. First came the TV screen, then the computer/laptop. Mobile phones became smart. Laptops and mobile had their love child: the tablet. In my house I shamelessly have 7 screens and that’s only for 2 of us.
  3. The internet is everywhere. A natural evolution from the explosive technology that wants to ‘connect’ us all together in one, easy to manage system.
But this whole digital technology is invading every aspect of our lives. If you haven’t heard about the Internet of Things, google it now. Essentially, it’s the very-almost-realised idea that normal everyday objects will be connected to the internet. Your thermostat, your washing machine, your car, your lights, your windows, even your pets and children. I’m not joking. They will have their own IP addresses and interact with our ‘smart’ devices, with us, even anticipating our behaviour. It’s changing the very fabric of our society, well western society that is. We’ve all noticed it. It’s so hard to actually have a real, face-to-face conversation with someone without it being interrupted by some little black machine buzzing, singing or flashing at you. Head bent, we isolate ourselves from real interaction. We care more about taking photos and updating statuses than actually experiencing life. Since when did sharing become a marketing tactic for the capitalist business world? A world that does quite the opposite of sharing. It takes from us. It’s taken our relationships and personalities and turned them into something they can track, monitor and turn into big data analytics. Just so they can sell us more and more. Push together Orwell and Huxley and you get the modern day. Big Brother watching us through devices we pay to use, we want to have and believe are essential to our lives. This digital mass hysteria is our soma, keeping us distracted, keeping us wanting the next hit, the next product, the next upgrade. I believe it was Wells that stated that any utopia would not be a static system, but one that is constantly improving, always getting better, faster and more efficient, a constant wave of improvements. Is that not what the tech companies have created here?

The irony here, of course, is the fact that I’m sharing this to you through the very thing I am criticising. I’m just as absorbed as the rest. I just can’t figure out if, in the end, it is good or bad. The science and the technology really is amazing, I can definitely appreciate that. The things we can do now, the things that we know are incredible. The thing that concerns me is the power this creates for the few at the top, and in turn, the weakness in endows onto the rest of us. Are we unknowingly controlled by this system? Or if not now, will we be soon? I must sound like a hippie… ‘fight the system’ etc. That is not my point. Privacy is my concern. If there is a system, someone, somewhere will find a way to use it to their advantage. This system of using money to distribute power enables a system for the greedy. We should all be concerned.

I’m really trying to explore this new digital generation in my writing. Our growing dependence on a virtual world. I wonder if any of you are doing something similar? I would love to share some ideas. Hopefully I will get a poem up on here soon which will illustrate my point.

What Age Is

Often people try to detatch themselves from their age because each age has alleged limitations in some way or another. It is true that age does not determine the amount of experience you’d had in your life, your ‘wisdom’ however that can be defined, or your intelligence. I think a lot people talk about what age isn’t about, so what is it about?

It’s less about the individual you are, and I think, more about how you fit into the larger society. An obvious statement being that people tend to spend more time, or be close people their own age. Quiten often, people that we know outside of our own age range are due to family or work connections. Of course I’m not saying that this is true for everyone, in every sense, but there are obvious trends. Clear differences between how 13 year olds like to spend their saturdays to 50 year olds.

Age places us in a bracket. It’s a way of making general assumptions about a group of people. Not just based on knowledge, but social role. When I go into bars and restaurants, most of the employees are young. When I went to University, most of the lecturers were older. I’m saying we should make judgements on people based on age, but notice that there are correlations. It’s these sorts of trends that dictate different kinds of advertising for different products. Just compare the kinds of holidays aimed at 18-30 year olds, to a resort for 50+.

So, no, age is not just a number. But it says something about you, your identity. But does not determine the individual. Just as you ethnicity, or beliefs do not define who you are, but are still all vital parts of who you are.

pingback

5 Things I’ve Learnt in Marketing

Hello all. I started a new job in marketing about a month ago and I’ve previously had experience in similar roles so thought I would share some of the stuff that I’ve learnt about marketing. In University I studied English with Creative Writing and I most enjoy writing poetry. Plus I’m currently working on a novel, but more on that in another post. So anyone that wants to get into marketing, you do not need a marketing degree. All employers care about it that you have a degree and experience. Do as much unpaid work experience as you can. Placements and internships look great on your CV and give you something to talk about in an interview. Personally, I am most interested in copywriting, however these positions are near impossible to get if you don’t have actual experience. So marketing was the best choice to get my foot in the door. It’s the kind of career where you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. But also fun, because you get to be creative every day :) So here are my five things that I’ve learnt during my time in marketing.

1. You don’t have to be an expert to write like an expert. Often copywriting projects require technical knowledge on a specific topic. For example, during my placement at Invest In Nottingham I was given the task of producing a B2B brochure detailing the benefits of businesses in the engineering and technology sectors investing capital in the city. Being able to copywrite does not require knowing a lot about everything, just knowing how to source and regurgitate material to a high standard. Often before even starting a piece, a significant amount of time is needed to research thoroughly. So, anyone that is thinking of going into marketing, be prepared to have to read a lot of material quite quickly and be able to pull out the relevant information. Find a system that works for you, but be thorough and be organised. I make a lot of lists, I find they help me organise my mind. Plus I take great pleasure in ticking things off one by one.

2. Love the internet. The internet is an incredible invention that has had a phenomenal effect on culture, and more interestingly, language. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. If you want to be in marketing you will have to be completely comfortable in the world of social media. Learn about hashtags, SEO, what to post, when to post. Read a few articles but then try it out. The best way to learn is to simply play around on these sites. But it doesn’t end there. Website, photo editing and graphic designing knowledge may also help. The more creative skills you have, the better you’ll be. Learn about infographics too, they are awesome.

3. Confidence. 90% of marketing is confidence. Whether you’re talking people face to face, writing an email or designing an advertisement, always believe what you’re saying. If you go for an interview, the employer is expecting you to be certain of yourself, even if you’re scared and you hate interviews. Let’s be honest, nobody enjoys interviews. But if you have confidence in yourself then other people will have confidence in you. So that’s a simple one really.

4. Be everyone’s friend. In marketing, you never know when you might need specialist knowledge or service. The more people in your loop you can call upon for help, the better. Be there for other people too if they are in need, the more you help others the more they will help you. Plus, marketing is such a social role you need to be able to be comfortable with anyone. Don’t be shy. If you go to a networking event, make sure to make the rounds. It’s quality, not quantity, and I mean in terms of what you say. Make an impression, give them your card and smile. You want them to remember you, you want them to want to speak to you again. So if you’re boring or shy you will be just another generic face.

5. Always have a notebook. Okay, so this is a writer’s habit I have anyway, but still. You never know, you might be out on a casual stroll one Sunday evening through the town and see some magnificent piece of marketing work. Scribble it down. Or maybe you’re dozing in the armchair, stroking your cat and an idea springs to mind of how you can give that mail shot an extra punch. Always, always, always, write down your ideas. Maybe they will be useless, but I find that when I read through them, they inspire better ideas. So always write things down, because most likely the harder you try to remember, the more you forget. The way I see it is, your mind’s power is best spent on creating, not storing. Leave the storage to something physical. If you don’t want to carry a notebook, there are hundred of note apps these days that you can download for free on your phone. I use Evernote somewhat, but nothing beats actual paper in my opinion.

I hope this has been insightful for some of you thinking of going into marketing. I’m no where near an expert, I’m still young and new to the game but these are my thoughts so far. Agree or disagree with any of my ideas? Let me know in the comment section :)

Want to read some other blogs on marketing? Check out these pretty awesome sites.

Back from the Silence

I did it again. I started a blog and then let it slip to the back of my mind. But in fairness I have been awfully busy. I graduated from University with a 2.1, I started a new job as a marketing exec and I moved into a house with my boyfriend. But now dust is beginning to settle a little bit, I now have more routine in my life and so this blog is back online. I feel kind of glad to be out of university, I feel free now. I want to start my own business and so I’m spending a lot of my free time doing that. It’s going to be a website that offers freelance creative content services to anyone for any purpose. So watch this space and hopefully it will be live within the next month. Website designing is a pain in the arse. I never knew how long and tedious it was. Does anyone know of any decent website builders? I’m currently using the GoDaddy builder and it’s as advanced as paint. People have suggested using WordPress to build it, so that may be my next port of call. My business idea came from wanting to be a freelance writer, and I started talking about this to my friends a lot of whom also studied English at university and were also just as interested. Then I started thinking some more and realised that I had quite a strong network of really talented creative types. Photographers, graphic designers, writers… so I thought why not make a website that combined all these services? I’ve never ran a business in my life, I’ve never even thought about it to be honest. But if I can make a way for myself and people like me to work in their own space, at their own pace and earn money… then well wouldn’t that be wonderful? Maybe it will be great success, maybe it will flop. But I might as well try. So here’s to trying, it’s more fun than letting life walk all over you.

Mirrored Poetic Form

Image

I cannot for the life of me remember what the technical term for this is, but I have recently become fascinated by mirror poetry – where the first stanza is mirrored in the second. I read a poem of this form in Lucy Burnett’s book of poetry Leaf Graffiti and it’s incredibly clever. I attemped my own version and found it to be very infuriating. I’m not happy with the poem and this is by no means a finished version but if you give this form a go you will realise just how stressful it is to try and write a poem that works well and can be reversed. I have even more respect for Lucy Burnett after trying myself.

Oval – v. the mirror

By Lucy Burnett

 

I’m wearing no clothes. Right this minute, now,

my eyes averted down as though i am ashamed.

Centred in my parents’ room – the door is shut -

a certain sign, a symbolic line of suture. My scar is

six inches long, its darkened, slightly crooked smile

which makes me tilt my head like nurses do.

I slowly stroke the bruises of my swollen side

as I try and figure if the dent I feel is really there.

My skin appears to droop and sad around my fingers

in contrast to the fullness that I felt before.

My fingers knead my new-found lack of symmetry,

a half-aborted womanhood. The doctor promised me

‘the woman left will end up working twice as hard’.

I wonder, catch my own reflected eye, what if?

 

I wonder, catch my own reflected eye, what if

the woman left will end up working twice as hard?

‘A half-aborted womanhood’, the doctor promised me,

my fingers need my newfound lack of symmetry,

in contrast to the fullness that I felt before.

My skin appears to droop and sag around my fingers

as I try and figure if the dent I feel is really there.

I slowly stroke the bruises of my swollen side,

which makes me tilt my head like hurses do.

Six inches long, its darkened, slightly crooked smile

a certain sign , a symbolic line of suture. My scar is

centred in my parents’ room – the door is shut -

my eyes averted down as though I am ashamed.

I’m wearing no clothes. Right this minute. Now.

 

And here is my attempt…

Polarized

ripened flesh, a fruit ready for peel.
that smell like plucked buds or white linen, of
dry lips cracked like burning wood.
the moment I’ve been hoping for.
I thought I heard you say, “this is
the point of no return.”
the short carpetgap boiling between our feet
at room temperature. we reduce to
less than brief clothes could contain. feverish
silence, like sweat it sticks. vulnerability in
a question asked in shapes. the night now
blackened, enlarged, outgrowing all. my words
staccato, splintering into your eyes,
held in lockstare. heart pulses
pushing and pulling to a full stop.
fingertips meet magnetically.

 

fingertips meet magnetically,
pushing and pulling to a full stop.
held in lockstare. heart pulses
staccato, splintering in two. your eyes
blackened, enlarged, outgrowing all my words.
a questioned asked reshapes the night. now
silence. like sweat it sticks. vulnerability in
less than brief clothes could contain, feverish
at room temperature. we reduce to
the short carpetgap boiling between our feet.
the point of no return.
I thought I heard you say, “this is
the moment I’ve been hoping for.”
dry lips cracked like burning wood.
that smell like plucked buds or white linen, of
ripened flesh, a fruit ready for peel.

I welcome all comments and criticisms :)

Also, if you liked this post here are some other awesome poetry posts…

 

Any Poem with Cats is a Poem Worth Reading

il_340x270.457958621_7luy[1]I’ve been reading Emily Berry’s debut book of poetry Dear Boy and I’ve fallen in love with it. She twists a surreal edginess in a pragmatic tone, you seem to begin in one place and end up in another. The narratives lead you through odd, surprising images, comical to a degree. Her phrasing is easy to follow, the simplicity accentuates the absurd in it’s frank manner, for example in one of my favourite poems My Perpendicular Daughter:

                                     …they hung her

upside down inside me: now she sticks

straight out, gets in the way when I stand

close to walls.

 

The role and expectation reversal plays imminently throughout her works, such as the immature parent, or the disturbing doctor. This theme is repeated in The Tea-Party Cats, where power is explored cleverly, the cats admired and the protagonist fearful of her otherness, her “taillessness”. I love the assonance of that neologism, phonologically reminding me of ‘tastelessness’. Images of formality, overt prestige and suave manner intimidate the voice of the poem, but all under an impression of artificiality. I wonder if this poem is exploring the kinds of people that society looks up to, presented as a group of seemingly narcissistic cats, especially the final three lines which conclude by threatening the cats’ previously established ‘perfect’ image. I think there is something about cats that imply a kind of underhand, elegantly deft nature, seen in “whose whiskers nicely referenced their bowties.”

I really respect what Berry has done here because as a writer I find it difficult address issues in this kind of light-hearted tone. Dark and depressing definitely comes easier, but Berry’s poems are playful, genuinely fun to read. This is the kind of stuff I’d like to experiment with. Let me know what you think about this poem, I’d love to hear your view and if you get the chance I would recommend having a flick through the book.

The Tea-Party Cats

by Emily Berry

 

We’re suspicious of the tea-party cats;

we don’t know why. They all turned out so well

today and aired their charming characters;

they were so smart they frightened us to death.

We longed to have their style and easy knack

of fitting in; we feared our taillessness

would show us up, or our sickly looking

skin. We tried our best all afternoon,

but nothing seemed to do – we spilled our tea

into the saucer, we couldn’t think of things

to say, we weren’t as dapper as these cats

whose whiskers nicely referenced their bowties.

We stood in corners, if you want to know,

nibbling biscuits though our mouths were dry.

Some of us slipped away before the end.

I stayed until the speeches, when the cats

thanked each other proudly, proposing

endless toasts; and then one of them exposed

a weakness, but quickly covered it up.