I don’t know about you, but I’m a curious cat.
I like to know the people behind the computer screen, hidden away typing at me on a keyboard.
That’s not always an easy thing to do, and too often we place judgement on the small profile picture we come across on social media.
Hands up who’s been totally surprised when they’ve finally met a client or prospective customer in real life and they’ve been nothing like you expected!
Here’s a few snippets of gossip you probably didn’t know about me – Zoe Hughes, content writer at Words by Zoe.
(and I’m totally borrowing some interesting questions I found on other websites!)
Have you always been a content writer?
Umm, no. Originally, I trained to be an actress at the University of Hull: Scarborough Campus (sadly no longer there) but got a little bogged down with real life and the fact that acting really doesn’t pay enough to cover the bills.
I then trained as an Operating Department Practitioner at Sheffield Hallam University (similar to a theatre nurse, we worked in anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care), and worked in a busy Orthopaedic theatre unit in Derby.
That’s when I got struck down by chronic illness.
Unbeknownst to me, I have (and have always had) a joint hypermobility condition known as Ehler-Danlos syndrome. It’s caused by a collagen defect that means my joints move around too much, and can slip out of place and even dislocate at times. It also causes chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as my muscles and ligaments attempt to keep my bones in place.
Yeah, it is as painful as it sounds!
After a period of time off to recover and figure out what was going on, I had to give up my medical career and that’s when I decided to become a small business owner.
How do you combine your previous education and training with your current role as a freelance writer?
It’s a lot easier than you might think!
I’ve also written since I was a child, both creatively and for myself. Whilst studying Theatre I took some modules in scriptwriting, but as an actor, it’s your job to translate the words on a script into a message the audience will understand and take home with them.
As an ODP, it was my job to ensure the patient understood what was going on, translate any of that pesky medical jargon that we’d throw around as healthcare professionals, and make sure they had a voice that was heard.
Content writing is about understanding your target audience well enough to be able to deliver a message in a way that will resonate with them.
It really isn’t that far removed from my experiences as an actress, or as a medic.
What do you enjoy most about being a content writer?
There are a lot of things I love being a content writer, but I guess the most enjoyable part is seeing the results of my work for my clients. Seeing businesses I write for get to the top of Google, go viral on social media or gain new customers from something I’ve written always gives me a buzz!
Like I said at the start of this blog, I’m a curious creature and content writing enables me to find out so much information about various things. I find the research to be so interesting (and sometimes distracting!) and I’ll throw myself into learning as much as I possibly can about a subject so I can write informed and authoritative content.
Ok, time for some fun questions!
What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
I’d get back into Medieval re-enactment – late medieval/Tudor. It’s something that I did as a teenager and was very passionate about – researching my historical character, the costumes, the acting, educating people, etc.
It is super expensive though.
The costumes, equipment, books, travel and accommodation costs (camping equipment, food, etc) – it all mounts up very quickly!
Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or 20 minutes early?
I can’t stand being even a minute late!
My father is ex-forces and would always say that being on time is late, it’s something that has become second nature to me. If it seems like I’m going to be late for a meeting or an appointment, it can make me very anxious!
What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?
Did Trump press the button?
I’d be interested to see how close to Star Trek life has gotten!
Who’s your go-to band when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
Disturbed is a go-to favourite, along with Fozzy.
I also have a ‘Dark & Powerful Viking’ playlist that I listen to when I need to kick myself into gear (usually twice a day or more!)
Would you rather never use social media again or never watch tv?
I don’t actually watch very much tv these days so I guess I could let go of that quite easily. I don’t think it’ll be that long before we can start watching things through social media anyway!
How often do you people watch?
All the time.
Ask any actor or writer and they will tell you the same.
People watching isn’t just something to pass the time for me. By watching the behaviour and body language of other people, I learn so much. The words they use, the tonality, how they interact with others, etc.
It’s a great way of understanding others, and examining your own place in the environment you’re in.
What are you addicted to?
Yes, pass me the chocolate, and the biscuits, and the cake, and anything else with high levels of sugar in it.
It’s a terrible addiction and though I try to keep a handle on it, there are certain times each month when the cravings get too bad, substitutes won’t do and living next door to a supermarket where you can get sugary goods reduced to pennies is a bad thing!
Would you rather live your entire life in a virtual reality where all your wishes are granted or in the real world?
I’ve fallen out with the real world lately.
So much poverty, hatred and corruption going on. I think many ‘creatives’ will tell you they escape into the safe confines of their imagination on a fairly regular basis!
So, I’d say, right now, virtual reality – although I’m not fussed about having all my wishes granted.
I’m hoping that letting you into some of my dark secrets has given you a better glimpse into me, my life and why I enjoy being a content writer so much! Leave a comment below with your own answers to the questions above!