My name’s Callum and I’m the new copywriter at Bright Blue Day. For someone whose job it is to write, I often find it difficult to write about myself, but here’s a look into how I found myself at bbd. I’ve always been interested in words, reading and writing – something I can credit to my parents, who were always either debating with or reading to me as a kid. To say I grew up in a house full of books would be an understatement – my parents recently gave away around 500 books and when the dust settled, somehow nearly every bookcase in the house was still full! This lifetime of training in becoming a talkative know it all perfectly prepared me for a degree in Politics and International Relations at Nottingham Trent Uni, which I finished just as Covid brought me back to Bournemouth.
Before joining bbd I spent just over two years working in/as the marketing and communications department of a tech startup that was building interactive, mobile-based digital marketing campaigns for everyone from Ben & Jerry’s to Accenture. Think Pokémon Go, but instead of hunting and trapping wild animals for sport, you’re looking for free coffee in central London. Starting as the sole ‘marketing guy’ in a team of ~25 and leaving a company of 160, I tried my hand at everything from social media management to website design, before eventually specialising in copywriting. It was sometimes stressful, often unpredictable and always vastly different to anything I’d ever done before – but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
When it was time for a change and I saw bbd were hiring for a copywriter, I went for it. One rather forward cover letter later, I found myself sat opposite Liam and Sarah to see if I was a good fit for the team. Our half an hour interview quickly turned into an hour plus discussion about politics, poetry and philosophy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
When I’m not inside, I quite like being outside, whether that’s backpacking, camping or playing tennis. Like most people in their mid-twenties, I’ve also recently gotten into bouldering, which is a great hobby for anyone who secretly wishes it was still socially acceptable to climb trees past the age of 15. Finally, something I enjoy doing both inside and outside is reading. I’ll read pretty much anything and everything, but reading about how much someone likes reading isn’t especially interesting, so instead here’s 3 great books I’ve read this year.
Free – Lea Ypi
A gorgeously written look into how communist Albania collapsed in on itself, told through the eyes of a young girl who was growing up there as it happened.
The Island of Missing Trees – Elif Shafak
Probably the best book ever written from the perspective of a tree. Not sure how much competition it’s got in that particular category, but it’s a banger regardless.
Shadow State – Luke Harding
How Russia has used poison, blackmail and Facebook to manipulate the Western world – often with a frightening degree of success. Reads like a James Bond novel, teaches like a university lecture.
The best writing advice I was ever given
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time so far at bbd getting to know the team, who have been unfailingly kind, welcoming and helpful to me as I settle in. So, in the spirit of their helpfulness, I thought I’d sign off with the best writing advice I was ever given – three sentences my dad spent years drilling into my head.
Who are you writing for?
What do you want them to do?
How are you going to get them to do it?
To this day, every time I ask him for advice about a particularly challenging piece of writing he’ll interrupt with the same three words: who, what, how? If I’m not quick on the trigger with my answers, he’ll tell me to stop wasting his time and come back when I actually know what I’m doing. It’s always a frustrating experience, but what I end up bringing back to him with is, without exception, better in almost every way. I hope it helps you the next time you have to write something!