Filtering by Tag: BRANDS
It's been part of a process to understand what my brand is these days.
According to my bio, I've been: The Reverse Cowgirl, The Hunter S. Thompson of porn, a "modern-age Studs Terkel," a TV personality, a celebrity ghost tweeter, a Lydia Davis wannabe, a women's restroom photographer, and a bukkake comics-maker.
Currently, I'm hawking THE TUMOR.
As ever, I'm for hire.
Buy THE TUMOR: "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."
A few months ago, I ended up talking to a young woman in the back room of a large home. I'd just watched her perform in a porn movie. Most of the time, you show up on set, and at some point, the girl undresses. In this case, by the time I got there, she was already camera ready, and now, because she'd done her scene already, we talked as she got dressed. (Ergo: It was like watching a porn movie in reverse.) She pulled on some knee socks that had weed leaves on them; I'm pretty sure that she put those on first. Her hair went up in a ponytail. She donned a pair of short shorts and a T-shirt. The shirt was cut up in a way you might see on a beach in Brazil, and across the front of it, in cursive letters, it read, FUCK YOUR HUSTLE.
"This is your hustle, your five-year plan, the Excel spreadsheet that will fulfill your spin on the American dream." -- P Is for Porn Star
I'm a fan of hustlers, hustling, and the hustle. (See: "How a Freelancer Learned to Be a Hustler," which appeared on my Forbes blog.) I appreciated the sentiment. The shirt floated around in the back of my head for several months. One day, I was working on finishing a project, The Fetish Alphabet -- an alphabet of flash fictions about fetishes. I'd gotten to the letter P, and I'd decided that "P Is for Porn Star." And I ended up mentioning the shirt in the story. Days later, the story went online. Not long after, Fuck Your Hustle, the brand that created the shirt, found the reference, through a Google alert, I'd imagine, and tweeted about it.
The tweeter referred to the piece as an "article," not a work of fiction, but no matter. The tweet caught my eye because as someone who used to work as a copywriter, it made me think that fiction writers could work their hustle by teaming up with companies to help fund literary works. (To be clear: I didn't work with Fuck Your Hustle.) This isn't "The Secret History of Ads in Books"; it's more embedded than that. Of course, what I'm describing has been done before; although, at the moment, I can't find it referenced online. I seem to remember an author who mentioned a brand of jewelry as part of her story and got paid for it. It's like Chipotle's "disposable literature," but longer. It's like "The Internship," but better. Call it litvertising.
Title: Digital copywriter
Word count: N/A
Notes: In February of 2011, I was downsized from a full-time job I had as an editor for a popular Time Warner website for women. That day, I wrote a post on my blog titled "Hire Me." Not long after, I heard from a man who worked for a big PR company in New York. He talked to me about doing some social media copywriting. He offered me $100 an hour. I took it. Over the next year and a half, I wrote digital copy for some of the world's biggest brands. My favorite assignment was pretending to be a product that talked to its fans on Facebook. I wrote scripts for commercials, became a celebrity tweet ghostwriter, and billed thousands and thousands of dollars. I was good at it, I liked it, and I could generate the online engagement the billion-dollar companies with which I worked wanted so desperately. I was a kind of Facebook whisperer. As a writer, it was the best-paying job I've ever had. One might suggest that marketing copy is thin and meaningless compared to journalism, but the reality is that every writer is in the entertainment business. The question is: How much do you want to get paid for what you do?
Conclusion: There's no shame in paying the bills.