Running, Writing, and Repetition — The Results of Showing Up

by Nathan Miller

Jun 14, 2024

Posted in Culture

Formada VP of Brand Strategy, Nathan Miller, talks about the results that occur from showing up.

Write Like You Mean It

I love writing. I always have. For a good portion of my childhood, I assumed everyone else did, too. 

I’m fascinated by the way in which talented writers paint vivid, emotional pictures with words, or give sentences distinct rhythmic patterns that can either lull the reader into a trance or create a genuine sense of excitement, depending on the story they’re telling.

This sense of soul-stirring writing isn’t limited to the world of literature. It’s arguably the cornerstone of marketing copywriting. However, I’m not sure that we love to admit that particular truth.

Yes, the copywriter’s goal is to educate and create action on the reader’s behalf, but I believe that I’ve spent the majority of my career in roles where my main objective was to create an emotional connection with people. 

That goal sounds simple enough, but the simplest things are often the hardest. Great copywriting — clear, concise, actionable copywriting — is a Sisyphean task. 

It requires the boundless imagination of a child and the unapologetic precision of a surgeon. Writing and editing. Rewriting and editing. Refining and publishing. And then starting the whole process over again.

Writing is a repetitive process. At its best, it’s meditative, and at its worst, it’s monotonous, but in order to get somewhere, you’ve gotta show up. Every day, it’s another new blank document. A black cursor blinking in the upper left-hand corner, daring you to fill it with something of value. 

That’s what’s beautiful about writing for our clients — we take our professional training and insight and combine it with our understanding of their goals and the needs of their clients and create something that, when done effectively, has a positive impact on scores of people. 

We don’t do it by ourselves. It’s always a collaboration. But it’s an idea made real. 

Running Up That Hill

In Formada’s nearly-six years as a company, a few common themes have emerged in our original writing. From them, you can see some of the ideas that we care about, like authenticity, simplicity, accountability, as well as a concept that any builder of any kind can relate to: Resilience. 

Meg writes a lot about this on her personal LinkedIn, capturing the many experiences she and Garrett have faced not just in starting Formada, but in the process of turning an idea into a full-blown, sustainably growing organization. 

And what she learned, what all of us have learned over the years, is that you’ve gotta show up. Every single day, you’ve got to show up. There’s always a new mountain to climb. A new test of your resolve. 

In response, or perhaps because of this, Meg started seeing a trainer, pushing herself by lifting heavy weights, making herself physically and mentally stronger. I started trail running, roving up and down the hills, learning to challenge myself in ways I never would have imagined before. 

Not every day on the trail is a transcendent experience. Some are a major slog. Maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before, or I didn’t stretch out enough so I’m struggling. But I keep showing up. Why? Because I’m learning through the process. 

I don’t always want to lace up my shoes, but when I do, I realize that I can shake off the shackles of a negative mindset, get lost in the repetition. Suddenly I’m not so focused on life’s unnecessary distractions. I’m problem solving, generating new campaign ideas, and creating ideas in my head that I can’t wait to tackle once I get home.

And it only happens through showing up. 

Same As It Ever Was

Several years ago, my dad mailed me a box of my belongings, filled with things I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager. 

The contents of this treasure box included family photos, a poem my older brother wrote about me when he was ten and I was five, beginning with the lines, “He is a human/His name is Nathan” (both true!), as well as all of my elementary through high school report cards. 

The report cards told a simple story, one of a relatively bright kid who, upon hitting adolescence, just stopped applying himself at school. He didn’t have to try too hard, so he didn’t. He would do just enough, the minimal amount, because he had far more important, socially oriented things to do. 

While I’m not a big fan of the gradual sense of apathy I see in those report cards, I can still sympathize with what that kid was going through. He had goals. He was still driven. But he wasn’t showing up. And now that I’m a parent of two teenage kids, it helps me empathize with the incredible number of expectations they have to endure on a daily basis. 

Even more interesting than the report cards themselves was a form from my freshman year of high school. It was a four-year plan I had filled out with my guidance counselor, intending to help me build a class schedule that would prepare me for an eventual college degree.

On it, I declared my two most desired careers, and since Indie Rock icon wasn’t something I could build required and elective courses around, I chose:

  • Professional Writer
  • Psychologist

Even at the age of fifteen, I had a pretty clear sense of who I was, but I couldn’t have predicted that I kinda became both. (A copywriter!)

You Deserve More Than “Good Enough”

The Formada team has a certain doggedness, an unwillingness to let things be “good enough.” We want to create incredibly successful campaigns that drive results and growth for our clients. 

You don’t get that by going through the motions. You get that by having a clear sense of what’s possible, and then pushing that just a little further than you did before. It’s finding the beauty in the repetition of showing up every day because you know that ultimately your efforts are going to make a difference. 

That’s what we’re here to do. Make a difference. Drive growth. All through completely personalized marketing strategies. 
If you’d like to learn more, then I invite you to contact us today. We’d love to help you achieve your goals.


Get in touch with the Formada Team