The Strange Story of How I Fell in Love with Copywriting...

hero image about page trisha traughber copywriter

I never intended to become a copywriter.

But one day, a client asked me to try it.

Her exact words?

“How would you like to write something for me? I should warn you; it’s completely uncreative…”

 

She knew me as someone who runs workshops in creative expression and helps clients write books for their businesses. And yes, when I’m doing that, I’m really helping to  tell a story.

My client probably figured I’m the kind of “creative” who writes poetry and short stories. (I am).

 

Why did I say “yes” to the “uncreative” assignment of copywriting?

 

The truth is, I love writing in all its forms.

I cut my teeth as a writer, an intern for a US senator, and a “guerilla marketer” for a non-profit. There’s nothing boring about fine-tuning press releases or ensuring that a letter to a constituent was worthy of a senator’s signature. (At least for me.)

 

I love that constant showing up, the ongoing challenge, the way every new kind of writing teaches you something. That’s what’s kept me writing–for 25 years.

Business writing, creative writing, writing workshops–I don’t really differentiate in terms of my passion for those projects.

 

And copywriting is one of the most creative kind of writing.

Copywriting is a unique (and human) act.  It calls for empathy and and asks you to tell stories.

 

Like a character in a novel, every copywriting assignment has its own voice. And every one of those voices surprises you.

A Few Things to Know about Me

mountain image collage about page trisha traughber copywriter

I met Ray Bradbury, when I was 16. He was signing copies of his new children’s book, Turn on the Night at the bookshop where my friends and I held our poetry club. He told me he reached out to 100 publishers before anyone believed in his latest book. And he told me this: “Never give up.” 

 

I Studied in Madagascar as National Security Education Scholar. People laugh when they think of me in a “national security role.” But what makes humanity safer than being willing to travel to the other side of the world to understand each other?

 

In my first writing job, I was a “guerilla marketing” intern at a “Dance Theatre. I wrote press releases about performance and production and got 80% of them published in newspapers and national dance publications.  (No, I don’t dance outside my living room).

 

I live in rural France. I’m an immigrant. It’s nothing at all like Southern California, where I grew up.  Now, when I get stuck in traffic, it’s probably behind a herd of sheep.

 

The very first poems I published in a ‘real anthology’ were in French. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. The languages we choose are a powerful force, a new voice. 

 

I am (secretly) into permaculture. When the snow melts here in the Southern Alps, you can find me in my jungle garden, foraging for things. My kids are probably somewhere racing through the bamboo, leaping over pumpkins.

 

I am a listener. People have always told me their stories: on the bus to my first ‘real job’ in Seattle and on the train when I traveled in Europe. And they tell me today–whenever a story is brewing.