Not only does a writer need to know a little bit of everything, we also need to be a little bit of everyone. Personas, brand voices, brand tone, it’s all about being people we’re not. And I happen to like being people I’m not.
That’s why I like to think of copywriters as actors, and why also leading a life in performing/comedy is essential to sharpening my mind and words. We go through a similar process in embodying the minds of different characters like a chameleon. We’re tasked to play a role that dictates our diction; We take on a character that gives our words character; We impersonate people to make an impression; We sell our audience on who we are first so we can sell to them.
But then again, you can’t entirely be people you’re not. As with actors, there has to be some part of that already in you to tap into. You’re still not you, but it’s still a part of you. That’s part of the fun in letting it out. If you have an edgy part of you and a project or role requires that tone, it can be liberating, challenging, and stimulating to let that part take over for a while. It’s no wonder advertising and entertainment crossover and people easily transition from one to the other. We’re all mad here.