Adventures in Edinburgh - Part one

Today's a day in London unlike any other. That's because last Thursday I climbed aboard the Caledonian express sleeper train to Edinburgh and a whole new life! I must admit I was a bit skeptical about how comfortable the sleeper train journey would be - or even whether I would actually get any sleep - but I was pleasantly surprised. 

Comfy bunk  

Comfy bunk  

Bedding down in the bottom bunk, I was pleased to find out I wasn't sharing the cabin with anyone else - which seemed like a luxury given the price I paid for the tickets! I actually slept pretty well and was woken at 7am by the steward with steaming hot tea and Scottish shortbread. I could get used to that! The highlight of the journey was definitely rolling up the shutters as the sun come up, shortly after 5am, and seeing nothing but fields of greenery and sheep. A far cry from the urban surroundings of London that I've called home for the last 4 years!

 Moving North

 This wasn't just any trip north of the border though - I'd come with a purpose other than to eat copious amounts of haggis and drink obscene amounts of whisky (Scottish stereotypes anyone?) In fact, I was in the city to pick up keys to my new flat - a flat I hadn't even set eyes on yet as I trusted a friend to view it for me. The 3 hour wait for my estate agency appointment felt like it was taking forever. Even breakfast and another cup of tea at the lovely Tani Modi on Hanover Street didn't do much to speed things up! 

I found myself sitting in Princes Street Gardens at 9am, watching the world go by, with views of the Castle. 

image.jpg

 I realised how eclectic the population of Edinburgh is, especially at 9am on a Friday morning. Everyone from homeless Big Issue sellers to Japanese tourists and suited and booted city workers walked past- I'd found a prime people-watching spot.

It's only taken me 17 months to get my s*** together and make the move north - I talked about it in my blog post back In January 2014, but never actually thought it would happen.

The weekend in Edinburgh - well, the Friday and a surprisingly hot and sunny Saturday morning - passed all too fast and I'm happy to say I'm now the owner of a set of keys to a lovely new pad in the North of the city, just a short stroll from the city centre.

 I realised how beautiful Edinburgh is compared to South-East London, and how much slower the pace of life is up here. Did you know that Edinburgh has more listed buildings than any city in the world? The things you learn...

Now I'm back in London and the hard work begins - packing for my move in under 3 weeks time. I've seen the new pad and am really excited for what lies ahead, and for the new experiences that are waiting! Most of all, I feel really lucky that I can do my job from anywhere - and that I enjoy it so much. 

If you're looking for a copywriter in Edinburgh - I am around! 

 

          My new pad!! 

          My new pad!! 

Placing a price on content writing

Up until now, I've noticed that many companies don't place as much value on the content of their site as they do on its design. “Why should I spend as much money on content as on how my site looks?” has been heard often when I've quoted my rates for a project.

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Do creative pursuits inspire creativity when it comes to copywriting?

Lately I've been suffering a bit from the one thing all writers know and fear; the dreaded writer's block. In my case it's not that I can't get words down onto paper (or onto the screen), it's just that they're jumbled and make no sense. A combination of sleepless nights and stress left me struggling for the right words for the first time in a while and I decided last week that a day or two away from the computer would do the trick; recharge my batteries.

I made plans to see a show at the theatre with a friend I haven't caught up with in far too long, and spent an hour choosing and downloading new books for my Kindle. Sometimes I worry I spend more time browsing for and downloading books than actually reading them, but that's a whole other blog post.

The show we went to see was Bloodshot at the St James Theatre - my friend's company were sponsoring the production. I have to say it was spectacular. I started the night skeptical as to how one man could pull off a convincing cast of characters on his own, but actor Simon Slater did an awe-inspiring job. We watched as an English photographer, Russian magician, Irish comedian and American jazz musician paraded before our very eyes, each character as convincing and complex as if a totally new actor had wandered onto the stage. This was juxtaposed perfectly against a backdrop of black and white photographs which drew us even further into this 1950's crime thriller. I'd initially been unsure about the tiny interior of the St James Studio, but the intimate cabaret style setting worked perfectly for this performance.

bloodshot.jpg

The evening left me feeling energised and more creative than I have been in a while, and I started thinking - do creative pursuits help to inspire creativity when it comes to copywriting, or any kind of writing, for that matter?

I know myself that an hour spent reading rather than slumped in front of the telly will lead to a more productive hour of writing later that night - perhaps my brain is already engaged in creating and imagining the scenes set out before me in a novel, so I'm already 50% of the way towards getting my own words down on paper (or laptop).

Other creative pursuits such as visiting a gallery or museum could also help when it comes to writers block then, I figured. I'll be using this as an excuse to test the theory this week (the hardship!) when I visit the Harry Callahan exhibition at the Tate Modern. Who knows, I may even check out one of the lunchtime performances of An Ideal Husband at the St James Theatre next week, work dependent.

I'm liking this new theory......