Or perhaps we simply don’t know how to initiate the conversation. But Gemma Ryan is on a mission to change that with her business, The Art to Survival (http://thearttosurvival.com) and get the conversation flowing about mental health!
As a copywriter, Gemma is all about words. Even as a child, reading the dictionary was one of her favourite things because, “it’s got all the words in mam!”, and that love of all things linguistic has continued on throughout her life. The road to becoming a copywriter was not straightforward however and has taken many twists and turns along the way, as things in life often do.
As we all remember, 2020 was a year of challenges galore which turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Gemma. With more time on her hands, she was able to really take a look at what she was doing with her life and what brought her joy. Having previously been working as a Virtual Assistant (VA), she found that she was struggling to find motivation for the work. She knew something needed to change and with that, The Art to Survival was born!
While Gemma may not have particularly enjoyed being a VA, she did gain numerous transferrable skills. Office Gem rekindled her love for writing and being creative and The Art to Survival gave her the opportunity to use those skills to talk about a subject that she is incredibly passionate about. Using her love of words to be an advocate for mental health is pretty close to being her dream job and brings her infinite amounts of joy.
All businesses evolve over time and Gemma found that after a year or so, she still wasn’t quite sure what exactly she was offering to clients. After some coaching from the lovely Karen Goldfinch at ‘Your Business Pilot’, she narrowed her services down to a specific few that she felt would offer the most benefit and help her get the word out about mental health.
Blog Writing – Writing blogs is one of the things Gemma loves doing most as this allows her to use her words. She knows that not everyone is comfortable expressing themselves on paper or simply don’t have the time to do it. She helps you say what it is you need to say while you spend time working on what you love.
Content Creation. A broad heading that covers things like website copy, marketing materials and training courses. You want your website to really reflect you and the right words can do just that.
Proofreading and Editing. Mistakes happen to the best of us so a second pair of eyes can really come in handy!
Blog Writing Training Session. If you really want to write your own blogs but aren’t sure where to start, then Gemma’s training would be perfect for you. Gemma can help you work out who your target audience is, find out what it is you actually want to say and give you practical tips and support throughout the writing process. All sessions are tailored to the individual and their needs.
Doing this work, Gemma has had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients including counsellors, play therapists, a trauma-informed yoga instructor, disability advocates and many, many more. She loves the variety that the work brings and really enjoys seeing the different perspectives people have and the different ways they approach mental health.
It hasn’t always been easy for Gemma. Having such a small niche of potential customers can make it more difficult, but that is completely outweighed by the fact that she loves what she does. Having had her own mental health struggles, she knows that it is such an incredibly important topic that needs to be shouted about, and that passion definitely shines through in her work.
Another challenge for Gemma has been learning how to work around a chronic illness. Twelve years ago while in her first year at university studying Psychology & Criminology, she was diagnosed with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) which changed her life completely. At the time, she wanted to become a Forensic Psychologist but due to the fatigue, pain and brain fog that comes with the illness, knew she wouldn’t be able to commit to that path. Unwilling to simply give up, she found a different way to utilise the knowledge gained in her degree and still work within mental health doing something that she loves.
Building a brand and growing a business can be slow (particularly during a pandemic), but Gemma’s determination and passion for what she does makes it exciting to see where she can go. Life may have knocked her down a few times, but she’s still here and plans to be here for a long time.
You can find Gemma and The Art to Survival here: