Being a professional writer is a strange career. Much like other creatives, you never know what projects will come up and where inspiration will hit you.
I was recently commissioned to write some poems and poetic messages for the fabulous make-up artist Jo Leversuch and her beauty marketplace Untitled No1. I met Jo at a Sunday Girl Magazine networking event where I gave a poetry performance and talked a little about my business- to be honest, I can't remember the performance or what I talked about as I was so nervous! Jo, along with so many amazing women, came to speak to me and asked if we could collaborate on some sort of poetic messages and I jumped at the chance.
A couple of weeks later, we had an informal meeting to chat about what she was looking for and what I could offer. It turned out she had some absolutely fabulous ideas and her way of looking at life really aligned with mine. The process of writing poetry is hard enough, but writing for another person is daunting. I spent an afternoon studying every social media post Jo had shared on her make-up artist page and her brand page; looking for anything and everything that I could use to make a poem.
I wanted to keep my voice and style within the poetry to keep it authentic. Luckily, I felt like our styles and voices aligned. I was also determined to enjoy the writing process, as this is what I preach to all of my peers; customers and fellow writers- that writing, like all hobbies, should be fun. To make my writing process fun, I like to play with the words I'm going to use- Untitled No1's slogan is Be Your Own No1 which I love! I wrote this line over and over until it developed into new lines. Then, I played around with the idea of the moon cycles as Jo had mentioned to me how people's faces and bodies change throughout the month- something I'd never really thought about. I also wanted to play around with the idea of people using make-up or not using make-up for themselves, to ultimately be their own no1. I found the process of writing all of these poems incredibly therapeutic as it reminded me that I also need to be my own number one!
Check out Untitled No1's Instagram here.
I was really pleased with the poems that came out of my writing sessions, and I even banked a few that didn't quite fit with the brand to add to my personal collection. I ultimately felt really good about producing this work, and the fact that Jo loved them too made the initial fear of doing this job so worthwhile. I'm so glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by a) networking; b) performing in a non-poetry-focused scenario and c) accepting a commission from someone I didn't know personally.
Anyway, I guess if there is a point to this blog post, it's that when you are writing or creating for someone else, it's so important to enjoy the process and to continuously check that the work you are doing is yours and not theirs! Breathe, smile, relax and enjoy the creative process. At the end of the day, you have been commissioned because the client loves your voice, your style, your work and it's so important to remind yourself of that.
You can discover Jo's wonderful make-up marketplace Untitled No1 here.