When I was 6-years-old, my parents bought our family's first computer. A clunky Windows PC in a particularly unsightly shade of beige, the type that required floppy disks and a phone book for me to sit on to reach.
Little did I know that this marvellous machine would go on to open doors for me in a way I could have never imagined.
Most notably, and firstly, my teacher's office.
You see, I'd used our computer to type up a Christmas story. Our Year 1 assignment was to create an original narrative that our teacher would then bind, laminate and then hand over to us to give our parents.
We were given a word limit of 2 pages…and I had spent hours and hours labouring over a 20-30-page tale of a girl and her action figures that went missing. I can't remember the exact details of the story, but I do remember that fateful day when Mrs. Cook - a particularly fiery red head who clearly hated her occupation - accused me of plagiarism.
The parents were called. My love affair with an early version of MS Word was revealed, and the charges were dropped.
I was, insultingly, asked to revise my magnum opus and condensed it to two pages.
And kill my darlings I did, begrudgingly, but my teacher's accusation was a back-handed insult that lit a fire under my ass. I could write stories. I could write entire worlds. Through the clumsy movements of my hands across my first qwerty keyboard, I could escape to a world where brother's did not inflict dead arms upon you, where my cat named ME, where it snowed in sunny Australia, and where my parents were undeniably aliens.
Yeah, I was an imaginative child. Through writing, I was able to become a princess, a horse, the owner of a nail salon that flourished on payment through Dunkaroos, and I was able to replace my annoying older brother with a cooler, prettier sister.
And other people were invited to escape with me, too. To step into someone else's shoes for a while, to feel, to think, to be inspired.
Today, I'm a bit more level-headed. Fiction isn't really my thing…but telling stories - as a copywriter - still is.
Because that's all that marketing and branding really is. One big story. Without it, you're a no frills can of soup.