That headline would be good in a book: Peek inside one of our copywriter’s musings


Where do clever phrases or compelling headlines start? Some are born as novel dialogue or action from the hand—and creative mind—of Junior Copywriter LaRissa Nelson, based in our Fargo office.

“The fiction writing I do at home is separate from the ad writing I do at work, but they both influence each other in some ways. For instance, sometimes I’ll think of a clever phrase or a new way to say something when I write fiction and realize that it would sound great in the right advertisement,” LaRissa explains.

Those ads may include elements for print and online promotions, blog posts, email messages and social media content. Her keen eye for details also makes her a great proofreader.

Curiosity between the lines

Like many others in the Flint Group, LaRissa’s curiosity leads her to fresh ideas. Some of her latest curiosity hinges on traveling. As she says: “I love traveling because I’m passionate about exploring and experiencing new places and cultures. Travel very much affects my writing, too.

“My first experience of traveling to another country was two years ago. I went on a month-long study abroad seminar around the world with eight other college students and two professors. I had never been on an airplane before—I pretty much had never been outside of the tri-state area before—but traveling abroad was something I wanted to experience while I was in college and had the opportunity right in front of me. It was the best thing I’ve ever done—it changed the way I think and perceive things, and it instilled in me the desire to keep exploring,” LaRissa says.

LaRissa and classmates get a fresh view, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.

LaRissa and classmates get a fresh view, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.

Inspiration, mate

One of LaRissa’s most memorable adventures (so far) was in Cairns, Australia. “We took a boat out to the Great Barrier Reef and snorkeled there. I’ve always loved the ocean, but that was my first time swimming in it. The moment when I plunged my face into the water and saw the towers of colorful coral and all of the life beneath the surface is still one of my favorite memories,” she recalls.

LaRissa’s inspiring view of a rainbow over the coast of Cairns, Australia

LaRissa’s inspiring view of a rainbow over the coast of Cairns, Australia

Road trips, ‘writing dates’

“On weeknights, I generally like to relax with a book, some yoga or a marathon of one of my favorite TV shows,” LaRissa says. ”I also like ‘writing dates’ with my boyfriend at area coffee shops. My favorite weekends are spent with a few friends on random road trips. It’s never anything fancy or too far away, but it’s refreshing to get away for a day or two.

“I’ve always loved creative writing. English was my favorite subject in school and English writing was my college major. I started writing stories when I was in 1st or 2nd grade. I’d write and illustrate stories, usually about animals, on notebook paper in my free time and give them to my teachers or parents. My teachers and parents both encouraged me to continue writing, so I did,” she explains. (Thanks, teachers and parents!)

Writers write

“I try to write creatively at home at least a few times a week to keep churning out new things. I’m also involved in a writing group that meets twice a month. We read and critique each other’s writing, which helps motivate me to keep writing in my free time,” LaRissa says.

“My favorite place in the world is New Zealand, and I really want to go back there. I do enjoy traveling within the United States and going on local road trips throughout the year, especially during the summer,” LaRissa says.

Sunrise over New Zealand, which looks like a beautiful setting for a chapter or two.

Sunrise over New Zealand, which looks like a beautiful setting for a chapter or two.

Look for LaRissa’s book

At some point, LaRissa would like to write and publish a novel. We guarantee she’s getting great character ideas while on our team. If you have plot ideas, a clever adjective, a place LaRissa ought to visit—or would like to add her to your network, connect with LaRissa on LinkedIn [].

Get to know a Flintster: Q + A with LaRissa!

What’s your dream job? Since I love writing and traveling, being a travel writer seems logical.

Which job would you not want to have? When I was in college, I scraped smelly, week-old food gunk out of gigantic pans in the basement of a dining hall. I would never choose to do that again.

What was your first job? Babysitting and teaching piano lessons

What did it teach you? Babysitting taught me why I should wait to have children. Teaching piano lessons showed me that I could learn as much from the kids as they learned from me.

What is one thing you’d be willing to practice for an hour a day? Piano: I took lessons for 11 years and I don’t play often enough.

What’s the best advice you ever got? It’s pretty general, but if there’s something you really want to do, go for it. I believe in the idea that you’re more likely to regret the things you don’t do in life rather than the things you do.

What sound do you love? The ocean

What scent do you love? Rain: I always open my windows on rainy days.

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