The girl who loved words
Yep, I’ve always been a total word nerd. My earliest memories are of writing. I’ve always loved the way words sound and the power and emotion they contain.
So, while I may not always have called myself a “writer”, I’ve been one ever since I can remember.
This is my story. For those who are curious about the person behind the brand.
Thinking back, some of my most vivid childhood memories involve writing. Before I even went to school, I remember leaning over an old unused heater scrawling my name. My education is dotted with recollections of reading and writing.
It was definitely “my thing”. When the class had to write a diary from the viewpoint of a convict, everyone wrote a few entries. But of course, 10 year old me needed extra pages in the booklet because I wrote about 12 entries.
I didn’t speak English before Kindy so I went straight into an ESL (English as a Second Language) class. Whether it was the teachers or something innate, I took to it like a duck to water and never looked back.
English became my best and favourite subject and it would play a large part in my school success.
Before “Cathy Camera Writer”
Writing seemed part of my genetic makeup but I didn’t officially become a writer until a few years ago.
Law and Teaching
Straight out of high school, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to study law, become a teacher or be a journalist.
I ended up starting my career as a solicitor after completing a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws degree. I studied at Macquarie University majoring in English Literature. This is where I honed my research skills and creative thinking. I was acutely aware that my university professors were teaching me how to be a critical thinker – how to question things and how to seek out answers. And of course, how to collate all that information into persuasive arguments.
After a couple of years as a junior solicitor, I became disillusioned with the profession. Unfortunately, within the legal circles I moved in, a law degree was not so much a licence to help people but a status symbol. It went against everything I believed. So I walked away from it.
And that’s when I fell into teaching. Starting off as a casual, I was soon getting regular work and eventually being offered teaching blocks. It was at this point I decided, if I was going to continue with teaching, I needed to do it properly. So I headed back to uni (University of Western Sydney this time) and gained a Diploma in Primary Teaching. Some of my best memories are from my teaching years. And I only stopped casual teaching in 2020 (after COVID made me realise how much I love this writing gig that I was doing on the side).
I never stopped writing.
The little girl who dreamed of being published and who wrote letters to her local newspaper about community issues, never got tired of words.
I collected them. I savoured them. I even started blogging back when most people didn’t even know what a blog was.
Then one day, after years of wondering if I could and if I should, I enrolled in the Freelance Newspaper and Magazine Writing course run by the Australian Writers’ Centre. And I loved it. The course had barely finished when I rang the local newspaper and had my first story printed.
From there I published many online articles across different news outlets. And I was super excited to be published by Sunday Life. There was my byline in print in a story about Marilyn Monroe (one of my idols).
To me, business is more than an income. It’s more than flexibility and freedom. It’s an opportunity to give back to the community. I feel that every business should be giving back to the community in some way. The soul of a business is its people and who they are and what they do beyond their work role.
So with that in mind, I’m always exploring ways to give back to the community.
I’m currently supporting Escabags, a charity providing practical help to people escaping domestic abuse.
Becoming a building and construction copywriter
Much as I loved being a freelance writer, copywriting seemed to offer a more secure future.
The union of writing and building was a given in my life and I’m only surprised it took me so long to marry the two. As I explain on my home page, I come from a long line of tradespeople. My dad was an electrician and later started a successful electrical supplies shop. He still is the most knowledgeable and thorough electrician I know.
In my early 20’s I met my husband. He was a carpenter by trade and was supervising home builds at the time we met. He has since moved into the office as an estimator and oversees a range of building roles.
Our shared passion for building saw us build 4 homes (and move 6 times) after we were married. I love nothing better than an empty block and a sheet of grid paper. I revel in measuring and drawing floor plans that best suit. The sight of excavated land or even a house frame going up still excites me. It never gets old.
After writing for building and construction clients, it dawned on me that I could specialise in this industry. I understand what they’re saying and they don’t need to spoon-feed me information. Which saves them a lot of time. It’s a win-win situation.
So I rebranded as a building and construction copywriter. And I haven’t looked back. I still write for others (I quite enjoy the variety). But niching allows me to use my knowledge and years of experience to specifically help those in the building and construction industry.