My fellow writer friend Claire recently put me onto canva.com, a fun and useful tool for creating visual elements that bring your writing to life. Similar to picmonkey, which I find especially useful for quick photo editing functions, it has already come in handy for a marketing campaign I'm developing, and was filled with delicious photos, fonts and design layouts that helped bring my words to life.
These days we are so used to being marketed to that we expect to see good design incorporated into just about everything, so it's wonderful to come across easy to use, free tools for when the visual side of a writer's brain wants to be let loose on the mouse pad.
A big part of my writing work is helping clients with the big picture thinking required to best capture their end goals. It requires 'big' imagination and free thoughts that connect and group ideas, but also a narrowing down of the messages.
Perhaps what I love most about working early on in marketing campaigns is how similar they are to the thought process of writing poetry.
A short diversion here; I just had to reluctantly let go of the library's only copy of Natalie Goldberg's inspiring book Writing Down the Bones, freeing the writer within. I had received a courteous 'overdue' email along the lines of 'Did you forget?' but Emma our Librarian kindly watched on as I perched on the edge of a library chair, pausing only to glance annoyingly at a noisy I-Pad tapper, as I clung to the final few short chapters in order to finish the book. It was as though I was in a cave with a guru in some far flung corner of the globe that I thought I would never get the chance to return to in my lifetime. Of course I just need to go online and buy a copy...
But in this wonderful book Natalie talks about how lines in poetry are the lines that contain the most energy and vitality out of all the lines in your stories. If only one line in your notebook jumps out at you - that is the line to use in your poem.
Marketing campaigns are a bit like this. And although it may go unnoticed by most of the population, I dream one day of a poetic line on a billboard, beautifully designed, loaded with meaning, telling a story.
If you're spending a lot of your day in bare feet, then chances are you have found the kind of balance that Hook & Arrow writer Alison Smith has found in life.