Well, as eventful as it was, 2015 whizzed by like a speeding train.
In fact, my almost 5-year stint as a fulltime freelancer has gone by as if I was in a 100 metre dash.
And yeah, while I’m at it, my 18 or so years as a wordsmith in a creatively constipated industry now feels like a vividly twisted dream.
So here I am, awoken from what seemed like a pseudo-comatose state of mind – anxiously wondering where my career is headed as I approach my 40s.
Freaking 40s, nuts!
But to be honest, it hasn’t been as delusional or convoluted as I’ve made it to be. Yes, putting 18 years of your heart, soul and neck into something ought to be paying dividends.
And it has, for the most part.
Strangely, something else has begun to happen over the last couple of years. I have found myself doing much less writing, while being thrust into situations where my overall know-how in marketing began to take the lead. I’ve gone from churning copy after copy after copy; to work on strategic, conceptual and the business side of marketing.
For a long time I thought I would be just generating content till the day I slump over my keyboard, or at best overseeing other lost souls churn out mindless garbage, and then set myself on fire on a pile of badly written client briefs while screaming “no more reeevissiooonnnsss!”.
Yes, people have mentioned I have a warped mind.
So, in essence, I am not just a copywriter anymore. I am somewhat in transition, or maybe I have already transitioned to become a marketing consultant of sorts. Don’t get me wrong, writing is still my first love, and I will continue to be a keyboard slave for a long time to come.
Maybe, just maybe it’s time I pursue my other writing interests. After all, no time to waste as 40 approaches in haste.
Oh… better late than never, so happy new year!
Yes, I admit it. Since the time I started this copywriting blog in 2010, I’ve never been as laid-back as this year. My posts have been too few and far in between, and I feel like a disgrace to bloggers everywhere.
But as with all things, every downside has a reason.
You see, the momentum I built in my first full year as a freelance copywriter in 2012 spilled over rather kindly to 2013. That meant more time working on projects rather than soliciting for work.
So let’s just say I took the foot off the blogging accelerator just a tiny bit and now the New Year is staring cynically at my face.
Ah yes… another reason for my lack of posts is also because I was busy preparing for my matrimonial plunge for the most part of the year. But this is hardly the space to talk about it, so I shall leave it at that.
Anyway, around this time last year I ended with a post that recapped my toils for 2012, along with a couple of videos that inspired me to do the unthinkable. But this time around, I’m looking forward by outlining a few things that I’d like to see happen among clients in 2014:
- A change in outlook to be more concerned about communicating effectively rather than calculating cost.
- Less emphasis on being catchy (whatever that means), and more effort in being able to identify a unique, compelling proposition.
- Realise that personal preference should just complement and not influence any piece of communication.
- Understand that copywriting is a craft that isn’t entirely based on preset formulas or guidelines; great work comes with time.
- Endeavour to keep things simple, concise and clear. The attention that consumers bestow is a luxury that should not be screwed with.
Amateurs get angry with clients, professionals educate them. I’ve done my bit of educating for the year; just don’t hold it against me yeah?
Here’s to a smashing New Year… cheers!
Luckily the world didn’t come to an end. For me, that would have been a shame.
Simply because 2012 was my first full year as a self-employed freelance copywriter. So it would have been a real arse-luck going out so soon after tasting sweet liberation.
I started the year full of uncertainties; work was far and few in between and I still hadn’t got used to the absence of a monthly paycheck. But I guess perseverance and patience have their rewards.
I quickly found myself making new alliances and managed to fill up my otherwise mundane schedule. My freelancing gig also took me to South Korea for a month, as part of the Malaysian team for the World Expo 2012.
And the year is ending rather nicely, with enough work to take me over to the New Year. So was it a good year? Absolutely. Am I hoping for a better upcoming year? Most definitely!
Before I start sounding like I’m making an awards acceptance speech. Allow me to turn your attention to the real reason for this post.
We all need that little spark, that little moment of inspiration before we decide to take on a new venture. My bits of spark came from two videos that I watched online in 2011, and I would like to share them with you.
The first is from possibly the most celebrated tech genius of our generation, the late Steve Jobs. If you are thinking of doing something you never thought you’d ever do, this vid is for you:
The next video from Daniel Pink is a must watch, especially if you are in a creative industry and constantly have the feeling of not wanting to wake up in the morning and get to work:
I felt the urge to share these videos because I believe you – or anyone for that matter – can break free from the norm. You just need to believe in one thing; yourself.
Have a great new year guys… all the best!