Matthew Farmer is an Australian copy writer, who recently added author to his resume with the release of his first novel, The Girl From Out Of Town. A long time writer for others, I was curious to see how Matthew would answer my questions now that he is also writing for himself.
1) What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool, and why do you think that about it?
In my professional life a service I offer is Social Media Management. This service relies a lot on content, finding articles of interest and relevance to an audience, finding ways to grab a following and bring people to a business’s website.
I have done some hard work to find ways for content to be delivered to me. I think it is really cool that, when I get a new client, I can spend a day setting up content feeds, searching for and getting content sent to me. Content which is strong, and is appreciated and sometimes surprisingly good. I think it is cool that a little bit of hard work has made the flow on work easier for me.
2) How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?
Three years sitting in the very same chair, in a claustrophobic office with literally no windows, talking to angry customers who were upset due to the machinations of an inept marketing department. I was going insane and really hated my job. So, after much discussion, it was decided I would venture forth on the road of freelance writer. I have always said I am a writer, so it was time to put my money where my mouth was.
I am certainly a happier person, everyone tells me so. And, other people have said- FINALLY! You should have done this AGES ago…
3) What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of, and why are you proud?
My basketball refereeing. I was invited to attend A Grade Reffing school as others felt I was good enough. I passed the theory, twice, one of only 2 people to do so well in theory.
So now I am an A Grade referee. I have had many parents come up to me over the past few years and say what a good referee I am, and I am quite happy and proud that I passed the school so well. I am considered a senior referee, and often given the younger ref’s to mentor them.
4) What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice, and how would they miss it?
I am full of bluster. I am a large man with a jester’s hat, Hawaiian shirts, I smile a lot and laugh a lot and can get very excited when in a group of writers. However, I am still, after all this time, very insecure about my writing. Especially now that I am charging money for it. An example is today and yesterday, I was asked to write 150 words for a person going for local council. I had the brief, and wrote to the brief. I sent it to my contact, and didn’t hear anything for 3 hours. Now, it was because my contact was in a meeting, and the client took a while to get feedback to me, but all that time I was thinking- gawd, they don’t like it. They think I am a hack!
For this same job, I have written 3 re-writes of the original, with little tweaks here and there, which further makes me think- they don’t like me. I can’t get it right on the first go? I must suck!
I know it is a common call of the writer and artist, but with my extroverted outer shell, it is hard to tell that I still fear for the quality of my writing.
5) If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be and why would you change it?
Acceptance and tolerance. I would love to change our reliance on money to survive, but right now, acceptance and tolerance.
Accept the fact that not everyone is the same, that people believe in different things, in different religious beliefs and sexual beliefs and stuff, and that is okay. It does not make them any better or worse than you. It does not make you right, and them wrong. It should not make them the focus of ridicule, insults, pain or violence.
Just everyone get along believing what they want, and accept that all this diversity is awesome
6) If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?
If you like something, don’t stop liking it because others don’t. It might be tragically hard to like, say, the piano, through school and high school, where bullies and those who would cause damage, pick on you. But once you’re through that, you’ll regret not continuing with things you enjoyed doing.
7) What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet, and why haven’t you done it?
Go to the base camp of Mt Everest. I haven’t done it due to money, and physical conditioning.
8) What is something that you have sworn to never do again, and why won’t you repeat it?
Not that I can think of, off the top of my head. Work in a factory, I guess. So little respect for the workers, just part of the bigger machine. Ugh. Eat Brussel Sprouts?
9) If you could break one personal habit, what would it be and why would you break it?
Procrastination. It prevents me from being more productive and doing STUFF, including stuff outside.
10) If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be and why?
I am wanting to learn how to paint and mod up Nerf Guns, modify them visually; I want to learn to make cool ear rings out of lego and small star wars toys. Good fun and good to sell.
11) Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?
Book 2 in my Girl From Out of Town trilogy, South of the Border. And look out for my monthly newsletter.
Thank you, Matthew, for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to know more about Matthew, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to sign up for his newsletter, you can do that here or at his website. His novel, The Girl From Out of Town, is available from Amazon and Smashwords.
Next Week: Wayne Bauman