I remember thinking early on that it was important to write what I was interested in, and I can remember saying that I found certain subjects boring to another copywriter once who more or less told me that you had to like it or lump it. In other words, you can’t always write on topics you really love, and sometimes you’re going to have to write about stuff you couldn’t care less about, so suck it up and deal with it.
That left me in a bit of a quandary. I had given up my day job because I was bored and miserable and I didn’t want to wind up spending my time writing about things that made me…well…bored and miserable. I wanted to feel lit up from the inside every time my fingers hit the keyboard, but perhaps that was the romantic side of my nature coming through. It can’t always be rainbows and kittens can it?
I have since written on a wide range of topics in my role as ‘generalist copywriter,’ and that has often led to me writing about things I do find boring. I understand that it’s not about whether I enjoy it, it’s about what the potential customer thinks. I may find that fuse boxes aren’t really my thing, but at the end of the day, it’s about the customer, if the customer finds it exciting, then it’s up to me to make it exciting. I have committed myself to this over the years, and I’ve written as passionately as I can on topics I’ve not always been that interested in. After all, isn’t that the job of a copywriter, to market services and products to the public and make them sound amazing?I mean it’s not about you is it?
No, up to a point.
However, I think there has to be room for indulgence, or at least I’m making room for it. I’m now moving away from ‘generalist extraordinaire’ to specialist, and focusing on only one or two services. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed my years as a generalist, it’s the best apprenticeship I could have wished for. I’ve learnt the importance of brevity, how to write in a more simple yet intelligent way, and how to create that all-important well-crafted headline — regardless of how boring the topic may be. It’s a discipline and a challenge to write about things you know nothing about, and at the same time make it sound like the most fascinating thing ever.
But now I think I’d like to indulge myself…..
I think I’d like to write about things I do know something about, things that get me excited, and make me want to jump in the air. Now I’ve earned my apprenticeship credentials and moved into the intermediate slot I’m looking for the kind of work that makes me want to get up in the morning, not pull the duvet back over myself and hide.
The one solid, residing work ethic I’ve grown up with is this: work hard, but only do what makes you happy, after all, life is too short to go through it being miserable. So I’m now going to do what makes me happy, and write about things that get me excited, and hopefully get paid for it too.
This is a 7 days, 40–50 hour week and I’d like to enjoy it.
Yes, there’s always going to be boring aspects to any job, no matter how much you love it, those tedious little things that are part of a more exciting whole. It’s all much of a muchness, but at least I’ll feel like I have more control over what I do and work with clients I know I really want to work with — and who will hopefully want to work with me.
Here’s to the future…..