So who is Tanja Gardner?
(And where did Crystal Clarity Wordcraft come from?)
Well hello there! Since you’re here on my About page, I’m guessing you want to find out who, exactly, is behind Crystal Clarity Wordcraft. Hopefully, this page will tell you everything – but if you’d like to know anything else, just pop your question in the form at the end of the page.
It all started because of the tombstone game…
Crystal Clarity Wordcraft (originally Crystal Clarity Copywriting) was born because someone once asked me a powerful question as part of a game. It was a simple hypothetical, but thinking about my answer rocked the foundations of my world.
The question was, “What would you want people to write on your tombstone once you’ve left this world?“
When I thought about it, I realised my answers came down to two options.
- #1 was cute and light-hearted, and made me smile. It read, “Dear Universe, thanks for inviting me. I had a wonderful time!“
- #2 was shorter, pithier, and hit me like a gut punch – knocking the breath right out of me. It was just four short words: “She Made a Difference.“
And while I loved the idea of my tombstone making other people smile as they walked past it, that wasn’t enough for me.
I wanted to make a difference. And I wanted to do it through language.
Here’s the thing: I love language with a passion that borders on unholy.
I love working with words and weaving them into a tapestry. I love taking something someone else has written and making it say EXACTLY what it’s meant to say: clearly, concisely and creatively.
(I may also have something of an addiction to alliteration.)
So you’d have thought that the full-time copywriting job I finished up back in 2012 would have been perfect for me, right?
But here’s what I discovered after 3 ½ years in that role: when you want to make a difference in the world, it’s not enough to say things right. You also need to say the right things.
And much as I loved my job, it wasn’t letting me do that.
But… what if I could support OTHER difference-makers with my skills?
Once upon a time I dreamed of writing fiction for a living. The trouble is, it turns out I’m crap at writing plots. (That’s – *ahem* – why I originally went into marketing. I figured it would let me write fiction, without having to come up with pesky storylines.)
But… what if I used my writing and editing skills to help heart-based authors and businessfolk who were already making a difference? People who…
- help others to live happier, more balanced lives.
- coach entrepreneurs who long to contribute more to the world.
- show folks in pain how to heal their bodies, minds or spirits.
These kinds of businesspeeps tend to be passionate, committed, and damn good at what they do. But sometimes, “what they do” isn’t writing.
So every now and then, they can really use a helping hand.
It took a little while for me to find my own difference.
I’ll be honest with you: the idea of striking off on my own TERRIFIED me.
As I spent more time around heart-based businessfolks, though, I realised that the traditional language of marketing and business could really put them off. It’s so often based around pyschological tricks and techniques, and convincing people that they desperately want something, rather than connecting them with an offering they genuinely need.
And it often leaves difference-makers itching to take a hot shower with a wire brush.
So I vowed to myself that I’d do it differently.
I promised myself I’d write and edit in ways that:
- Helped clients to connect with their perfect people, instead of trying to make them “irresistible” to everyone
- Made their value and their messages crystal clear (thus the name!) to their ideal readers , instead of being pushy or manipulative
- Sounded as though it was written in THEIR authentic voice, instead of being a mishmash of marketing buzzwords
And THAT’s the drive behind
Crystal Clarity Wordcraft.
5 Things you might not know about me
If you’d like to know a bit about who I am outside of my business, here are a few tidbits that will give you a sense of me:
- I’m not nearly as much of a rebel as the purple hair implies: I’m actually pretty quiet, and intensely introverted. In fact, I’d originally assumed that my “empurpleation” would be a one-time thing. (I did it to acknowledge the end of my mourning period for my father.) But… ummm… apparently, some part of my inner identity grew to involve purple hair; and seven years later, I’m only just now growing the colour out.
- I live in the future in Middle Earth: OK, so I actually live in Aotearoa, AKA New Zealand… but that’s almost a day into the future from folks in the US, and it’s at least partly Middle Earth to me. Luckily, the interwebz means I can help clients all over the world: from the UK to the US, and from Switzerland to South Africa.
- I’m a sex-positive, intersectional feminist who tries to be an ally to folks with less privilege than I have. I try to use the privilege I have to act as an ally to marginalised communities – in particular, Rainbow community (LGBTQIA+) folks. Oh, and I’m openly bi and poly myself. OK, so maybe I *AM* more of a rebel than I let on…
- I’m a raving fangirl: I believe deeply in the power of fiction to help us tell our true stories – and I don’t care about the medium. Yes, of course I love books, but TV and movies can be every bit as valid. I love science fiction, fantasy, and anything that makes me think about or look at the world differently. And don’t get me started on my crush on all things Whedonesque…
- I put my money (and my walking shoes) where my mouth is: I don’t just talk about making a difference with my business. I’m also a proud supporter of Kiva, Women’s Refuge and Oxfam, and I’ve taken part in THREE Oxfam Trailwalker 100km walks now. (Granted, I’ve only actually finished one of those, but I’ve still walked ~225km – not including training – and helped to raise over $6,000 for them. And my close friends have threatened to SIT on me if I sign up for another one.)
So there you go: Crystal Clarity Wordcraft in a nutshell
As I said above, if there’s anything else you’d like to know about me or about Crystal Clarity, just pop your question in the form below.
Otherwise, if you’re an author or difference-maker who’d like to connect better with your perfect people and help them understand how to change their lives, I have one question for you.
How can I help you most?
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