Writing blogs for a packaging supplies company that sells huge amounts of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and polythene bags may not sound like it has a lot of scope for creativity or enjoyment. I remember my first week on the job, one of my new colleagues tried to engage my enthusiasm by telling me that, while packaging may sound boring, once you get into it you find it’s actually very interesting.
“Yeah, right,” I thought.
Now, if I just sat in an office staring at a screen searching for ideas, I might indeed struggle to come up with much beyond the fact that cardboard boxes, for example, are very useful things for all kinds of people, come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are made out of different grades of board which have a variety of different advantages and disadvantages. Practical stuff, for sure, but usually dull.
Sources of inspiration – people!
I also spend some time working in the Sales office, taking calls and orders from customers all over the UK. And it’s been wonderful how much material I’ve managed to create from simple conversations with these people.
Some of them have been funny, like the person who wanted a long cardboard box that was just the right size to hold a walking stick ‘suitable for a person of average height’, or the woman who couldn’t understand how her newly-published book measuring 240 x 320mm could fit into one of our 330 x 250mm book boxes.
What you soon understand, however, is that for a lot of people, packaging is actually a crucial part of their business. Finding the right packaging at the right price, which will make whatever it is they’re selling look its best and arrive with a customer safely and in one piece, can make the difference between success and failure in a very difficult and competitive trading environment. Using your knowledge and expertise to solve these kinds of problems and help people thrive in their working lives can be really rewarding.
Then there’s another world out there on the internet, where you’ll find incredibly creative people coming up with unbelievably inventive ideas for things to do with and make out of these items once their primary purpose has been concluded. Cardboard boxes are being turned into works of art or fun toys for the kids, and there’s an unending list of what people can get up to with bubble wrap!
Take the positives from your working life
So you eventually realise that even in seemingly the most mundane of everyday objects there lies the potential for all kinds of positivity, creativity and life-affirming enrichment. And I’m sure that this doesn’t just apply to the world of packaging materials! We probably all have cause some days to think our working lives are uninteresting and contribute little to the world, but you don’t have to dig too deeply to find how you can make a difference.
It’s very easy to get caught up in our own little words and forget how every action, phone call and conversation can bring you closer to others and have a positive influence. Remember that each morning and your working day can be the good thing in your life you want it to be, rather than something that’s only there to be got through. It’s amazing how quickly feeling positive can lead to being positive.
What this has all meant to me as a writer is that I’ve been able to create a blog about packaging that not only informs, but also entertains. And it works; the site stats indicate that people are visiting the blog, spending time reading the articles and often then going on to buy their packaging from us.
Many’s the day I come in and I’m not sure what I’m going to be writing about, but it doesn’t usually take long to come up a fresh idea. And you know what? As long as there are interesting and creative people out there to talk to and take inspiration from, I don’t think I’ll be running out of ideas soon!
Sarah Hickson is a Copywriter and Sales Advisor for packaging suppliers Davpack (www.davpack.co.uk)