Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Apples and Peers

There's a famous exercise that's used to determine what kind of person you are and it runs something like this:
You're at a party where groups of people have formed around common interests. There are artists, scientists, writers, managers, musicians, sports people, philosophers and a whole host of others (clearly, it's a big party). So which group do you gravitate to first?

Over time, each successive group you join leaves the party (How great a conversationalist must you be?) until you've not only arrived at a prioritised list, but also ended up with a whole load of free food and drink. I can't be certain, but that exercise may be in the excellent career guidance book What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles. The point, obviously, is that our choice of peers - or at least, those we like to consider our peers - say something about how we see ourselves.

Today I received an email from Ben Locker about a forum he was participating in, entitled Ask the experts: How to break into copywriting. It was a blend of the inspiring and the maddening, as questions flooded the forum about how to get started and how to stay in the game. And a great way to spend a little time.

Having done some copywriting myself, I was interested in the different perspectives and approaches. I'm not sure at what point in the party I'd be cosying up to the copywriters, but I do know they'd definitely be on my list. It's an art-form every bit as creative as writing a novel. And potentially just as elusive.


  1. This is interesting, Derek. I read a self-help book some time ago that listed about 10 points you should consider if you want to make a success of your life and the one that always sticks in my mind is; be careful who you mix with, because you will behave as they do. As humans we tend to naturally gravitate towards people who share similar morals and motives in life as we do, which is why we have huge areas where people of the same social backgrounds live. So if you want to be, say, a successful musician, you should hang out with the other successful musicians at the party!

  2. Hi Deb, I agree and that's why it's also beneficial to cultivate an affinity for 'difference' in influences and experience.