Emerging Writers & Wordsmiths: 3 Tips For Early Days In The Creative Industry

Hi, my name is Luke and I’m a Writer here at Sum Effect. I haven’t been here for a whole lot of time, but I certainly have seen and learned a bunch.

Early days observations

I remember my first day here like it was yesterday. A greeting fit for a king. Being introduced to my very own desk and the kindness that was shown around the clock.

No matter how silly my questions were (and still are), there was and is always someone willing to answer and help me as much as possible. An example of this was during the time when I was writing the food blog. Matt kindly made time for me to call him and ask questions for an hour on food photography, when I had already picked his brain on it multiple days before. No question was too silly or too specific.

Whenever I walk into the studio, there is always a smile on every face and an aura of optimism that fills the air. And it doesn’t just stay in one place, it’s in every room. Being surrounded by such positive and encouraging creatives, it generates surges of ideas that flow so freely. I felt as though there was nothing I had to hide. Each idea was always the sprout of a tree that could grow branches, taking us in any direction.

To be in an environment like this has been an absolute pleasure and essential for my growth as a writer. I didn’t realise a workplace could be this nice, and its certainly been a pleasant surprise. I suppose it’s because of the close-knit family type environment Matt and Lisa have created. It’s an energy that I certainly wasn’t used to in a professional setting.

Lessons for emerging writers

Over the course of time I have been here I’ve learnt a few things.

I learnt the value of the draft and how many cracks at a piece of writing it can take before you get it right. Prior to joining the Sum Effect team I always felt the first copy had to be the best copy and I shouldn’t waste anyone’s time with anything that was less than brilliant. It’s been a long but very freeing learning curve.

I’ve learnt that collaborating and ‘ping ponging’ ideas back and forth can really help move an idea along. An example of this was during my time working with Kate on our BTS segment ‘Behind the Frame’. The exchanging of ideas and working together to come up with the perfect idea for an episode was a real learning experience. This process has been so helpful in broadening my perspective, not only as a writer, but as a professional. It helped me to see different angles on stories and taught me to trust more when sharing ideas.

But one thing that has really stuck with me from my experience so far is the way I’ve seen Matt and Lisa treat clients. It goes beyond just a transaction, an exchange of goods and services. There is a connection that is developed between two people that have an understanding and are working together to achieve one common goal of producing the best possible outcome. It’s not only about getting the job done, but building a friendship. I learnt that these interpersonal connections are so important when working with anyone.

Tips and tricks

If you’re a young person like myself trying to come up in a media space, here are three things I found to be beneficial:

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I know it sounds cheesy but it’s true! You’re never going to get the job done better by guessing and hoping, so always ask if you think something needs further clarification.

2. Draft as many times as you need to. Don’t feel like everything you do has to be good straight away, you’re allowed to make mistakes and get things wrong. Just do your best and be open to the critiques and new ideas put your way.

3. ‘Ping pong’ your ideas. Collaboration is a huge part of any creative process and it’s unfair to expect yourself to come up with everything alone. Trust the people you work with and their abilities, they’re there for a reason too! When you present your seedling of an idea to your colleague with an open mind, you’d be surprised just how well the idea can develop.

Final observations

Overall I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here and am grateful for this opportunity. I’ve learned a lot and I know that there’s still plenty more learning experiences ahead. But at this point in time, I’m just happy to be here and to be able to call myself a writer!