Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Writing Careers?

Writing : Illustration of a Spiral Notebook Mascot raising up a Pencil Stock Photo
Last week I had an interview for a copy writing position. The job basically involved writing 30 minute commercials based on briefs of information received from sales reps. I won’t tell you where, until I start. They have offered me a couple of weeks unpaid trial. I figure I can use that time to learn everything I can about copyrighting and find out if I am any good at it. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to show how creative and productive I can be.

Interestingly, the manager who interviewed me referred to this blog. So it is just as well I have been taking it more seriously over the past months. I have been doing a fair bit of research for articles, then trying to write them in an appropriate tone for the subject matter. I have been searching for topics that are relevant and starting to trend, but are not overdone, like the posts I wrote on Kickstarter and Klout. I have also tried to ensure that fewer typos appear. So my efforts in writing this blog seem to be paying off.                                                      


Those who follow me on Facebook might remember me mentioning an article I was writing about the use of medical cannabis for the Divine website. I spent a lot of time researching it as there was a heap of recent information around. I also contacted a scientist who was doing research into its medical use as well as the Victorian Health Department to get the Victorian Government’s viewpoint.

I discussed the article with the Divine editor to ensure her that I would be writing an article that was even handed and would not be advocating an opinion on whether cannabis should be allowed for medical use. I wrote what I considered to be an article full of facts and totally opinion-less and submitted it. Unfortunately the article was knocked back by senior management.

I was extremely disappointed. I was disappointed to have something I had spent so much time researching and writing canned. I was also disappointed that I did not have the chance to inform people about the use of medical cannabis. There are a lot of people in pain out there, who traditional medicines have failed. I know about some of these people from my membership of two Facebook groups devoted to Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.

I was also disappointed for the Divine website. I think an article on a controversial subject such as medical cannabis could have driven a lot of traffic to the website. But there’s the thing, I knew it was controversial, so I was not surprised when it was knocked back.

I intend to find another home for the article. It was very Victorian-centric, so I have rewritten it to suit Australian-wide markets. As a result, it is a much better article now.

I have told my fellow members of the Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis sites read the recent NSW Report into the use of medical cannabis. In my opinion, which is not even hinted at in the article, anyone who reads that report, and its many submissions, could only conclude that the medical use of cannabis should be legalised. The report recommended that cannabis be legalised for those with terminal illnesses.

I have written and submitted another article to Divine. This one required no research because it was about my personal experiences. Next weekend I plan to go to the Victorian Writers Festival where a couple of sessions will hopeful turn into more articles for Divine.


Anthony J. Langford said...

Your success with Divine speaks for itself so I would say it was the subject matter being too hot for them but it is always disappointing being rejected, no matter the circumstances.

Congrats on the possible position. I hope they don't take advantage. Interesting that they checked you out. Easy enough to do these days I suppose.
I hope it goes great. You deserve it. (Being paid to write? *Scratches head*)

graywave said...

It's ridiculous that a topic like medical marijuana should be "controversial". Either it works or it doesn't and, if it works, it should be available.

In fact, this whole puritanical, US-inspired, war on anything that people might enjoy, gets in the way of so much common sense. I say legalise it and have done with it.

Graham Clements said...

Yeah, I love the idea of being paid to write too, Anthony.

Graham Clements said...

Graham, according to the research I did for the article, medical canabis has many medical benefits, with not only reducing pain and nausea, but research has shown it can actually send some conditions into remission. One of the many reasons the NSW Government Committee didn't go further with its recommendations is that state governments are very much constrained by federal law. I reckon it should be legal for medical use at least. And no, I don't use it, but as I went to Uni and stayed in a residental college, I did on a number of occasions smoke and eat it many years ago.

graywave said...

Yeah, I don't use it either but only because it's illegal. As a teenager, I did, and found it far preferable to alcohol. But alcohol is legal and dope is not so my drug of choice is determined by the state.

greenspace said...

I hope the copywriting job goes well, Graham. at least you don't have to worry about being unbiased there - the opposite, in fact! "this product is the best!"

Anthony J. Langford said...

I used to smoke it quite a bit at 19, 20 and have been around people who have. It's fine at the time though still presents social problems - but its the long term use that causes the real damage. Long term users seem to lose their rational thinking, depression sinks in, they lose it. Periodically over the years I would indulge but the last time I did, about ten years ago, I became very depressed the next day. Very. Haven't touched it since. I don't know if there's been research into repeated use but they're should be. Still not as bad as alcohol but it's not perfect solution.

Graham Clements said...

Greenspace, you're right, copywriting will be a big contrast to writing for Divine.

Graham Clements said...

Anthony, when I finally get the article printed somewhere, you will be able to read about cannabis based medicines that have been made in a way to cancel the psychological affects of the THC in them. They would be no good to recreational users as they don't create a high. I had a bad experience like you the last time I smoked it, many years ago, I got extremely paranoid.