Most six-year-olds in September 1988 were still playing with their own snot. Not me. I’d just put together a ten-game unbeaten Scrabble run against my dad, who’d only taught me how to play that very month. And the more we played, the more my vocabulary grew.
‘Bazookas’ across two triple word scores was my personal zenith. By junior school I was unstoppable. It wasn’t long before I was correcting teachers’ blackboard spelling and being the annoying kid who’d pull you up if you wrote their instead of there.
Freaky word sponge
By the seniors I had a reading age of about twenty six. Like a freaky word sponge. I loved writing stories, limericks, jokes… anything I could. My nan still shows people a poem I wrote about dogs when I was 13. No joke >
I did work experience at my local newspaper, and got my first ever byline. I’ve still got the page, somewhere. Then university called, and I spent three years at the best journalism school in the UK.
I landed a job as a football reporter in Manchester when I graduated. Later as website editor back at my old uni. Non-stop writing. Day-in, day-out. I loved it.
The boy can write copy
That’s where the copywriting kicked in. Writing to persuade new students to enrol fascinated me, and I began taking on smaller freelance projects to build up my portfolio.
Now in my forties, I have two decades’ worth of copywriting under my Word Man utility belt. I spend my days tackling as many delicious projects that I can lay my rather large hands on.
And I’ve got my dad, Dave Harland, to thank, for lighting that spark when I was six. He even named me after himself. Well in dad.