From writing competitions to content writer: the magic of words

Rianne Oudekerken Rianne Oudekerken
19 - 10 - 2020

Rianne the bookworm

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with books. The library was my second home and my mom used to take me there at least once a week. Whenever she showed me a book which she thought I’d like, there was a good chance that I’d already read it. Fantasy, mystery or romance novels, I knew almost every book from the library by heart. But I didn’t just like the good old ‘paper’ books. Once I discovered audiobooks, I spent even more time on books. I couldn’t get enough of them.

It often occurred that during a rainy weekend, I entertained myself for hours with (pre-recorded) books. I would completely lose myself in the story and get excited or frustrated about the choices made by my favorite characters. Because the stories I read always played like a movie in my head, I could effortlessly empathize and sympathize with the characters. I never imagined that this would be the beginning of my predilection for writing.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree

It was at an older age when I started wondering why I was simply reading books and listening to audiobooks, when I could just as easily write stories myself! That way, I was the only one in control over all the characters, their actions and personalities, and I could come up with my own storylines. Once that discovery was made, there was no stopping me.

Writing became a way to express my feelings, to write down my (fairly often romantic teenager) dreams and to empty my head after a good, bad or busy day. After a while I really got the hang of it and decided to sign up for my first writing competition. I competed in a young adult talent show twice, in the category spoken words. I even received an award for my self-written and self-read story that boosted my enthusiasm for writing even more.

How I ended up at El Niño

One day, one of my fellow students mentioned that the company he worked at was looking for a content writer. The content writer would write texts and blogs for a website, in this particular project about everything that has to do with cooking. Often you hear that jobs such as content writer or copywriter are fulfilled by people with a specific education or background, like communication or media studies. However, to me, this could not have sounded like a better job, since writing and cooking are two things that are very close to my heart.

Because I already had some experience with writing, I applied, did a trial day and got the job! Lucky me, I am allowed to do something I enjoy for work! Because of my broad Creative Technology bachelor, I do not only have a good understanding of technical topics, but also a working understanding of the needs and behaviors of people. This allows me really to get into the skin of the reader, emphasize with them and keep their needs in mind.

Changing it up

After working as a content writer for a while, I have found out that applying my writing skills in a professional environment took some adjusting. I was used to (sometimes mindlessly) writing down everything that came to mind without overthinking too much, I just let the words flow out naturally.

Now that I’m writing in a more formal setting, a lot more thought needs to be put into every word that is written on paper (or into Word). I noticed that I need to be more careful with my words so that the message I want to convey is clear for the readers. This of course has its positive side effects. The texts are more thought through and put together, which enlarges their impact, and makes them easier to read and understand. This way, we can ensure the clients get good quality content which delivers the right message to attract, engage or convince our clients and costumers!

How awesome is it that you can convince or entertain people by only using words? To me, this is something mystic. Written words can make people cry, can make them feel cheerful, or sad, angry, remorse or enthusiastic. Because when you think about it, words are just well-organized letters.

Rianne Oudekerken. Rianne is the content writer at El Niño, studies at University of Twente and she makes sure that all texts are inspiring, funny and creative. Rianne Oudekerken. Rianne is the content writer at El Niño, studies at University of Twente and she makes sure that all texts are inspiring, funny and creative.

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