So that one thing is clear from the start: you don't work in different areas. And if you do, then not successfully.
You can't be a craftsman and know your way around the financial business. At least not seriously.
One is a lawyer, for example. If you also paint, or sing, or kickbox, then maybe as a hobby, but not ... properly.
Most authors concentrate on one medium and stick to it: if a novel, then not theatre or film. Otherwise it goes wrong. Fiction or non-fiction. Some even concentrate on one genre, writing thrillers or comedies or romances. Advertising copywriters and graphic designers should stay out of art altogether, and artists out of science.
Either we know something Leonardo da Vinci didn't, or this insular endowment chauvinism has always been absolutely moronic.
When it comes to marketing communication, it borders on wanton self-harm. Today more than ever. Advertising is transforming - hopefully very quickly, with all due respect - into story and content. And everyone involved in it better transform just as quickly, in the direction of diversity.
Let's change our thinking radically and absolutely. Full throttle!
Where better to learn this than where story and content are the core business? In the arts, in the entertainment business.
I have always worked in different areas and, out of prudence and stupidity, I have always kept them strictly separate. There was the author, there was the advertiser. Don't mix the two! Although - I have a cross-disciplinary island talent: I know stories. I find and invent stories and distribute them. But I've been doing that for a long time now, quite explicitly without boundaries, in different genres and media. In the entertainment biz, in almost every form.
And I help others to do the same. Mostly it's companies and their brands that I work with.
Or people who have to sell themselves, so to speak.
Story here, story there. More and more often, ever since storytelling became a popular buzzword.
You have unlimited experience.
I am a former Mad-Man on the mend and confess: I learned a huge amount about writing in advertising and a huge amount for marketing communications as a writer.
And today, when everything is being remixed, new formats are emerging via digital storytelling, communication channels demand enormous precision and the most concentrated dramaturgy, I am learning all my professions anew and a lot more every day.
One thing I learned pretty early on: Nobody wants to read your sh*t!
Believe me. Or at least Steven Pressfield.
Whether you're an industrial lyricist writing texts with your fear sweat so that your clients' yoghurts, insurance policies and T-shirts bring in fat sales, whether you're ripping screenplays, novels or reportages from your heart so that the cash registers ring, whether you're thinking up concepts & strategies, setting up a blog, carrying a political programme into the world, getting your children to learn or getting your employees excited about digitalisation, whether you're making a start-up pitch to investors or a plea in court: Nobody cares about your shit. Believe me.
And if you don't believe me, at least believe one of my pillar saints, Steven Pressfield, buy his book right now (= now). "Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit." and read his sh*t.
And then again.
So now, once again.
Steven Pressfield has written many wonderful books. Among other things, he wrote the novel for the film "The Legend of Bagger Vance". He has also written non-fiction and screenplays. And advertising.
By the way, many famous writers were advertising copywriters before they became famous writers. Joachim Ringelnatz, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Don DeLillo, Bertolt Brecht, James Patterson, Frank Wedekind, Salman Rushdie, Martin Suter ...
Steven Pressfield learned pretty early in advertising: Nobody wants to read your sh*t!
Some thoughts from this book as a little greeting from the kitchen:
"A real writer (or artist, or entrepreneur) has something to give. He has lived long enough and suffered long enough and thoughtlong enough about his experiences so that he can turn it into something that is valuable for others, even if it is only for entertainment.
A fake author (or artist, or entrepreneur) only wants to draw attention to himself. Maybe the word "fake" is a bit harsh. Let's say "young" or "in development"."
Do you also think of brands that only talk about themselves, companies whose main goal is to maximise profits and good old surreptitious advertising disguised as storytelling and content marketing?
"What "Nobody wants to read your shit" means is that none of us are interested in your self-centred, ego-driven hankering for attention. Why should we be? It's boring. We're not getting anything out of it."
So a real brand story that is supposed to have an impact on people can never be about the brand , but always about the people. About their values, about their desires and about their needs. Only a brand that shares this will be successful with its story.
This is how concepts & strategies, a blog, a political programme, employee motivation, a start-up pitch ... work.
Read & Learn.
Because Steven Pressfield cares about our shit, there's a lot of applicable insight in his book about what matters in good stories. Read it!
And then read it again.
So, and now again.
And apply it!
Because, even if storytelling is now driven through every village as an annoying buzzword, the following applies: "No Story. No Glory."