Christy O’Brien

The Splendid Word

Landing a journalism cadetship at 18, I fulfilled a dream of writing stories for a living. Writing has always been my thing and when I realised hard-news journalism wasn’t for me I set about creating a more writing-orientated career path and have continued to hone my skills and satisfy my love of words and language to this day. After freelancing for feature magazines and starting a family I took the plunge, with fellow journo and dream seeker Leonie Canham and created The Splendid Word (TSW) – boutique media and communications. Four years on, TSW business continues to grow, filling a niche market for writing skills of all genres in our region. Through TSW I am writing and sharing people’s stories on a daily basis through media releases, documentaries, script writing, award and grant submissions and features stories. Constantly striving to learn and grow in my chosen field, I completed a Diploma in Book Editing and Publishing in 2014 and I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at La Trobe University, Bendigo, to further my writing knowledge and get my creative on! Even though I've been writing professionally for 13 years, my recent study has not only confirmed that there is always more to learn about words, but that a love for writing can be your job and your creative outlet. Having a passion for what you do is a necessity as a writer and you can't fake it. Your passion, or lack thereof, will always show up in your writing.

my core skills

Business writing



Communications manager

Q & A

Whats the best thing to happen to you in your career to date?

Getting runs on the board in my early days as a freelancer was the best thing to happen! Taking on varied projects, and getting out of my comfort zone has allowed me to grow and thrive – both in business and in my personal writing journey. Also identifying my weaknesses and doing something about it!

What does a typical work week look like for you?:

Between school drop-off and after school activities - for three busy children - I work from my divine home-based office where I create splendid words and work on establishing our business locally, regionally and online. I also play with creative and academic words for my Arts Degree. I also try and steal a couple of hours here and there work to work on a novel. I love my week as I spend it playing with words – what’s not to love?

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

A quaint 100-year-old cottage (our home) situated in the historic Port of Echuca, surrounded by books, journals, style-guide manuals, ABC radio, cool tunes, a cottage garden, and a cheerful Puggalier named Harry to keep me company. And usually a good coffee to get the day started.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

Passion for words – regardless of the brief. Everyone has a story and I love to tell stories. I have a well tuned nose for a cracking story and the skills to tease it out. As a freelancer, I have the ability to turn my hand to all genres: news media, script writing, feature, report writing and blogging, to name a few.

What are the tools of your trade?

Have computer and Wi-Fi connection… will work! I also could not live without my dictionary, style guide and a good amount of child and distraction-free 'head space' to get creative.

Do you collaborate with others? If yes, how does that works?

The Splendid Word is a collaboration and we are constantly drawing on a creative collective who offer skills ranging from editing to web design, graphic design, marketing and advertising. I know my strong points and am more than happy to phone a friend if a project requires additional support.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

Recognising that you can’t do everything, all the time. Finding the right work/life balance is an ongoing lesson for all freelancers and learning to say 'no' to make room for the work you really want to do. Also, learning to seek assistance from other talented folk to enhance my skills has been a great lesson to learn and discovering that it's okay to ask for help.

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