Perfect Pitch Blog

Melissa Ligertwood


My road to being a writer wasn’t a straight one. From a young age, I wanted to help people. The first road I thought of was lawyer. I could fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. But others who knew something about the law always painted a grim portrait and so I stepped away. I finished my Psychology major with a minor in Political Science. University was a gruelling load of written assignments and essays but I was talented with words and so I finished top of my class. The road felt straighter for a while. After school, I worked part-time at a psychology clinic, expanding my role from office management to junior clinician and report writer. I knew I was helping people, but I wasn’t feeling a passion for Psychology. I stepped away again. This time, I knew where I wanted to go but I couldn’t see the road to get there.

I wanted to be a writer. Should I go back to school? That didn’t seem feasible. Should I apply for my dream writing job? I didn’t yet have the chops or an idea of what that job would be. Instead I spent the better part of five years hustling for side gigs while working full-time salaried jobs to pay the bills. I worked on proposals for non-profits. I edited reports for colleagues. I wrote copy for friends’ websites. I donated blog articles. I studied writing techniques in my spare time, and I used every opportunity to get the word out: I was a writer, and I was open for business.

Then the opportunity of a lifetime happened. With no background in journalism, I landed a job as freelance reporter for Castanet Media. Now, I was spending every day talking to people and listening to their stories. I saw it as an enormous responsibility and I endeavoured to write ethical news through the eyes of the heroes, the fallen, and the survivors. Becoming their storyteller was an honour and a privilege.

I still thrive on capturing people’s stories. I’m pretty sure I drive some of my clients around the bend at times with my attention to detail and my tenacity at discovering their truth. I believe they come back to me because, through writing, I make their story something their audiences will remember, will take action on, and maybe use to navigate the turns in their roads.

Melissa Ligertwood is Principal at Content Lime Communications

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