25 May Seven – with Dominic Ryan
In 2011 experienced journalist Dominic Ryan left behind the bustling Glasgow newsroom of the Herald & Times to enjoy a calmer pace of life in the seaside village of Carradale, where he founded his business Words HQ. His great loves include his collie dog Star, travel, test driving supercars and music. Funk to be exact. A gentleman with a hippy philosophy, his alter ego comes alive on a Saturday night when he plays guitar with his band motherfunk. ‘Seven’ is a snapshot into Dominic’s life collated from seven random sentences which I invited him to complete.
Entrepreneurial spirit is enjoying getting one more hour, maybe two, from your work when everyone else has packed up for the night. It’s also appreciating all the best ideas come when you’re far from the workplace: in my case that’s walking the Kintyre hills and beaches with my best pal Star.
In business you need to have a final goal, a destination, otherwise you’ll paddle in circles forever – which is fun but tiring. From my early days as a cub reporter in Dundee to being a newspaper editor in the Cayman Islands – and even now, managing multiple client projects for Words HQ – the importance of meeting a deadline has never been lost on me.
Books had a big influence on me because they were doors into unknown worlds: nothing stimulates the imagination and inspires an appetite for learning as much as a book, whatever its genre. I guess that’s why I love writing books, creating doors for other people.
My childhood hero was John Denver because his songs described a world I could aspire to: emotionally honest, they painted a canvas that filled the senses with mountains, forest, oceans and stars. He fed my love of nature, plus he was the first vegetarian I’d ever heard of! There weren’t many of us in East Kilbride back in the 80s.
The biggest challenge we face is the slow death of language: every word we lose to text speak, an emoticon or oblivion is another hole in our knowledge and a dent in our ability to communicate effectively, not just in business but as human beings. As a journalist and writer, I hope I can play a tiny part in keeping language alive. Words HQ exists to help clients find the best words to communicate their message, whether corporate or personal.
Travel broadens my mind and balloons my heart – a healthy reaction in a man my size, or there’d be no room in there for all those new emotions and novel experiences. As a writer, I’ve been very blessed to travel all over the world, experiencing different cultures, extraordinary environments and surreal adventures – some of which I’ve put into this summer’s new book, Neither Here Nor There.
Happiness is the incredible joy that comes from creating an original idea using only the raw material of words – that could be anything from a motoring column in The Herald’s Saturday Magazine to a marketing campaign, a science fantasy novel to a book of travel essays.
Photo credit 1: Star by Mirjam Kunnberg
Photo credit 2: Dominic Ryan by Framelight Studio