"I realized then the power of words – to delight, to connect, to move people to feel and respond."Sue Diaz
Everyone has a story. As an advertising copywriter my usual focus is telling the world yours or your company's. But here – briefly – is the story of how I came to be writing, well, this.
My fascination with words showed itself early. Back in the second grade during roll call one morning in mid-Advent, instead of answering "Present," I remember saying, "Waiting for presents!" That seemed to me at the time the height of sophisticated – not to mention, seasonal – word play. My seven-year-old friends giggled appreciatively. Sister Delphine smiled benevolently. And for this budding wordsmith, there was no turning back.
The power of words – to delight, to connect, to move people to feel and respond – hit me then and there like the snowballs thrown most winter days by Danny Lewandowski at recess.
From a Southside-of-Milwaukee childhood filled with Little Golden Books and backyard theater productions, I moved on to high school. Aced English all four years – journalism class, too – and saw my first byline on the pages of the school newspaper. In college, in between the novels of Dickens and the essays of Emerson, peace marches, and student teaching, I wrote stories for the alumni magazine. And a couple years later, I typed the final footnote to my Master's thesis.
Yet I didn't decide to become a "real writer" until after I'd been teaching high-school English and composition for four years.
Advertising offered a creative way to begin doing that. Much of what I know about the field I've learned working alongside talented creative directors and designers, savvy account and marketing executives, and with a wide variety of clients.
Within three years I moved up from an entry-level copywriting position to Creative Director at a major San Diego agency. Big office. Lots of windows. Then I did what some might think unthinkable: I decided to go freelance.
Before and since, I've approached every ad project that comes my way as if my own name would appear on it. But I also began to branch out and do the kind of writing that comes with real bylines: op-ed pieces, features, and for a local parenting magazine, a long-running slice-of-family-life humor column my husband, daughter, and son accepted as the fate of those who share a breakfast nook with a writer of personal narratives.
Shortly after Minefields of the Heart was published, I began exploring the idea of having a book trailer to supplement and broaden the publisher's marketing efforts, as well as my own.
Collaborating on that project opened this writer's eyes to the power and possibilities that are part of digital-storytelling in The Age of YouTube. And that led me to a local college's Graphic Communications Department and to classes in Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator, Premiere and After Effects.
In 2002 my son joined the Army and served two deployments in Iraq totaling twenty-seven months. During that time, I chronicled the war and my family's experience of it in a series that was syndicated nationally and internationally. Those essays served as the starting point for my most recent book: Minefields of the Heart: A Mother's Stories of a Son at War (Potomac Books).
Writing about the war has led me to lead writing workshops for war veterans in San Diego at the San Diego Vet Center, Veterans' Village, and the Naval Medical Center.
The Pulitzer Prize has, to date, eluded me, although in 2007 I did come close, when the Christian Science Monitor nominated my essays for that honor. Oprah, alas, still hasn't called. But in the meantime, I stay busy writing for a variety of clients and publications. Places my work has appeared include Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Christian Science Monitor, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Mothering, Child, San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, to name a few. I've also recorded essays on National Public Radio and written a couple books, as well.
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms," the poet Muriel Rukeyser said. You've just read mine. Now I'd love to hear yours and help you share it with the world. Let's talk.
"Sue's videos made a complex product – ours – easy to understand."Jim Akin, Vice-President, Touchstone Compliance
Today's technology and Adobe software make it possible – amazingly – to do Hollywood-type things even in a boutique studio, like mine, in San Diego's North County.
the description goes here.
". . . stellar writing. Diaz's prose is polished."Chuck Leddy, National Book Critics Circle
I enjoy writing. All kinds of writing. Ads. Brochures. Websites. Essays. Magazine features. Books. I've even been known to compose a haiku or two while waiting for a traffic light to change. Whatever the project or task at hand, I take real pleasure in finding the right words.
the description goes here.
"By working with a seasoned pro like Sue, whose skills are visual as well as verbal, you'll get the results you're looking for – whatever the project."Josie Rodriguez, visual artist
I think it's safe to say that not many professional writers also know how to keyframe a light sweep, animate images using the Puppet Pin Tool, and create 3D effects from 2D photos. This writer does. And with that dual ability to wield mouse and metaphor with equal ease, I offer a range of custom communication services:
Granted, I'm not a big production company. What I am is a 5' 7" writer with more-than-a-little experience and a 15-inch laptop – a laptop loaded with some of the same powerful editing software used at studios like Pixar and DreamWorks.
And since I don't have the overhead and expenses of a big production company, I'm able to charge less than you'd expect for creative services that will help you tell your story or your business's in compelling new ways.
Every project is unique, and pricing naturally reflects this. With videos, for instance, things that factor into an estimate include the need – or not – for a script, stock or original photography and/or video footage, music, animation, voiceover, or motion graphics.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, I'll work with you to understand your vision and goals in order to provide a fair quote – and if you opt for a video, a high-def version uploaded to YouTube for easy access and worldwide distribution.