Finn Seccombe

Amfractus

My greatest strength is diversity in experience. I approach writing with the same principle that I use building boats, houses, designing furniture and producing music, that is: "every task has a process and every process is a wondrous journey of discovery".

Whether I am designing or writing, I begin by asking the big questions: 'Why?', 'What?', and of course 'How?'. Drawing upon my own experience, the knowledge of my client and any professional advice I can lay hands on, my aim is to distill ideas to a point of irreducible potency that is truly 'fit for purpose'. In saying that, I also believe that words (like furniture design) should be fun. If I'm writing an instructional manual there may not be much room for colourful language, but there is an artistic process in good writing, no matter how dry the content.

my core skills

copywriter for trade and industry (includes technical writing)

literature reviews

health care copywriting

music transcription and composition

Q & A

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

Being a self employed writer and consultant is an extraordinary privilege. Only last week ( June 2018), I was asked to join a team of brilliant young consultants to help design health service systems in Tasmania. I never imagined that the skills acquired working in design and manufacture could be applied to organisational change management - it seems that problem solving is a universal language! Everyday there is a new challenge on my desk which means that everyday there is something new to learn. I feel like I am living the dream.

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

I try to balance my personal life with my work. Through experience I have learnt that five hours of work following a good sleep, exercise, a healthy breakfast and some meditation can be so much more productive than eight hours of tired and stressed 'wheel spinning'. I don't really subscribe to a seven day week pattern; ideally, everyday is a balance between work and spiritual nourishment. I also work as a professional musician, sometimes four nights a week, so I really have to pace myself.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

I work from home in southern Tasmania in which I designed and built myself. The house has designated office spaces but often jobs and meetings migrate to the kitchen table where we can spread out a roll of butchers paper and get creative.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

I bring a designers mind to every project enabling me to adapt to new environments quickly. I have the ability to approach a problem from many different angles which often leads to novel and pragmatic solutions. Having done academic work, my research is thorough and my writing is always based on best evidence.

What are the tools of your trade?

Perhaps the most powerful tool that I use for all copywriting is the three part enquiry process 'Why? What? and How?' If I start with the right questions, then apply rigorous research methods the outcomes usually make sense.

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

As a consultant there is a constant need for expertise and authority in the required field of work. Our company, Amfractus often works in collaboration with other consultancy firms as well as drawing in expert panels to provide technical know how and industry experience. When it comes to copywriting I always make sure my work is edited by another to help avoid the 'Muphry's Law' trap. This is usually my wonderful Virgo wife and mentor, Ellen Seccombe who never misses an i dot or a t cross.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

Never send a draft copy at the end of a day. Perfect copy is what gets repeat work.

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