WordNerd Is 5 Today – a Tribute to My Dad

Five and a bit years ago, the lady I was doing a series of NLP sessions with in north London mentioned that her website designer could do with some help writing content for his clients. At about the same time, a friend in Nottingham told me that businesses pay copywriters to write their blogs and blog writing was ‘a thing’.

That was all it took. My love of writing, my experience in marketing and my need to be the mistress of my own destiny came together in one perfect idea: I was going to be an online copywriter.

I am still an online copywriter and I plan to be one for a very long time. I work for myself, I’ve had I don’t know how many tens of happy clients (and only two over the years who haven’t been happy, and are clearly nuts!) and I get to do what I love every day. I craft copy, I learn, I hone my skills, I meet wonderful people, and I help them build their businesses and realise their dreams. I wouldn’t say it’s always been easy but it’s definitely been fun.

I started out with no contacts, no money, and pretty much no clue. Now I have two FTSE 100 clients with turnovers of more than £1billion, I work with tiny companies with turnovers to match, and for businesses in all sorts of sectors on four continents of the world. And I love working with all of them. This blog was going to look back at the last five years and talk about some of the things I’ve learnt but recent events have rather taken over…

My time as a professional word nerd hasn’t always been plain sailing and as much as I’ve enjoyed my work certain aspects of my life have been “challenging” – two illnesses (one chronic, one serious), a big change in my personal life three years ago, and the move from London to Nottingham have all affected my business to varying degrees.

Then, just over two weeks ago, the biggest, saddest thing that’s ever happened in my life: I lost my dad.

This is when even someone who loves writing quickly runs out of words.

There are no words to express the feeling of losing someone close to you and this is not the place to explore it. So I just want to honour my dad, tell him I’ll miss him more than he could possibly imagine and thank him for everything he gave me.

To my dad – Hugh, Huff – a retired Judge and QC, a great showman and manipulator of words, an amazing husband for over 45 years and carer for 20 of those, a very sweet but easy to run circles around grandpa (!), a gregarious and loyal friend with friendships spanning more than 50 years, and a funny, generous, eccentrically intelligent dad who gave me my love of red wine, parties and fast cars, my complete lack of fashion sense (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with M&S), my keen interest in politics and current affairs, and my love of words, books, writing and poetry – thank you. Without you I would never have become the person I am.

Tonight I’m going to raise a glass of Rioja to you and to the next five years of doing what I love. If you have a drink this evening, please do the same.

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