Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
Becoming a writer is really a career path that’s chosen for you!
Since I was at school, I knew that writing was always going to be one of my biggest strengths. On a personal level, it’s a fantastic outlet for releasing your emotions too. So I used to write poems and stories as a teenager (a bit embarrassing to admit now).
I was interested in how businesses work, so I started a career in marketing communications, working in the public and private sectors.
Self-employment was always in the back of mind as my parents were self-employed, and a few of my colleagues had made the leap and started working for themselves too.
To cut a long story short, I reached a crucial point in my life when it was ‘now or never’ – and I’ve never looked back.
It’s brilliant to make a living from something you enjoy. Most importantly, I can now better balance the demands of having young children with my career.
What work are you most proud of?
I am actually proud of the fact that I set up the business in the first place, as getting started is one of the hardest parts of being self-employed.
In terms of work, as a bid writer, I have helped companies secure some very valuable contracts in the IT, security and healthcare fields, plus many other sectors.
Recently, I was hired by an international company that produces radio control systems to write a children’s book that would appeal to the children of their customers.
It was one of the most creative, innovative and interesting projects I have ever been involved in. My role was to interpret a storyline and illustrations, conducting research into the company and bringing the story to life for children aged 4 to 8 years old.
By appealing to their imagination with the right language and tone, I opened up a new world for them, helping them to realise how radio control systems are used.
I was the author and proof-reader of the book, liaising closely with my client for the first time. The completed book has been extremely well-received by its young audience.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
I’m very ambitious, so in my dreams, I would have the career of JK Rowling. Or Hollywood Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. So, anything they’ve written!
But seriously, I read a lot of books and I’m impressed by the quality of writing in some of the books I read, which in turn helps me to expand my vocabulary and provides inspiration for the next project.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
The best ideas always come to you in the strangest of places – the shower, when going for a walk, when you’ve just woken up. I always sleep on it.
Once I’ve had time to think about a problem, do some research and reflect, the ideas start flowing again.
I always experience that ‘lightbulb’ moment when I know I’m onto a good thought too.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
I love brainstorming ideas, the feeling when I’m in the full flow of writing and seeing an end result I’m proud of. I enjoy editing my work and the work of others. Getting great client feedback and knowing I’ve made an impact is fantastic too.
Least favourite is getting writer’s block.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Criticism that’s not constructive. Potential clients not being straightforward or honest. The tax return. In that order.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Don’t give up. Also, if you want a successful business, don’t undervalue yourself.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Be passionate about it. Enjoy it.
Take every opportunity to learn and grow. However, like anything worth having in life, don’t expect it to be easy (especially if you’re freelance).
Just be as pro-active as you can in expanding your skills and opportunities and you’ll enjoy a very fulfilling career.
What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?
Being freelance means I have the flexibility I want and need.
Copywriting is a passion. I’ve discovered so much new information about all types of industry sectors and businesses. The knowledge I have gained about running a business is invaluable.
Getting to do something you enjoy so much means that you never dread Monday mornings again – that’s a fantastic feeling.
What made you decide to become a member of ProCopywriters?
To expand my knowledge base and network with like-minded individuals. We writers need to stick together.