Wondering what you need to become a copywriter?
* A desire and the motivation to write
You can develop everything else, but a desire to write is paramount, as is your motivation.
If you don’t at least enjoy writing, you’ll find it a challenge to write for clients.
As for motivation, ask yourself WHY? For me, it’s fun. I love working with my clients, whether it’s writing catalog copy, or coming up with the concept for a new product launch. I even enjoy creating business plans.
That said, no one loves writing all the time.
If you’re totally new to writing, you may have the desire to write, but you’re also scared. That’s all right. I’ve often told the story of my own experiences when I started to write romance novels. My first novel was my first experience at “real” writing — writing for money.
I start each day in an absolute panic. I had to force myself to the typewriter, which was on a table in the corner of our family room. Kids, dogs and husband strolled in and out. I’d sit at the table, roll two sheets of paper with carbon paper in the middle (I didn’t get my first Apple computer until 1983) into my IBM Selectric with tears rolling down my face.
Sheer terror. Looking back, I can only imagine that I was a masochist. Why did I put myself through this agony? One word: desire. As soon as I learned to read, and discovered that people wrote stories, I wanted to be one of those people. Tears or no tears, I wanted to write, so I did.
Of course, you can’t stay terrified for more than 20 minutes or so, and once that time was up, I started to enjoy the day’s writing session. However, that didn’t mean that I wouldn’t go through the same fears and tears next day.
So, by all means be scared, but write anyway. That’s all it takes.
Curiosity is everything
If you’re curious, that’s a very good thing. I love knowing how things work. I have obsessions, which last for months. As a copywriter, you’re always learning new things. Every project is different. You may have written a thousand brochures, or the content for a hundred websites, but you’ve never written THIS brochure or website before.
And one last thing…
You need to be able to avoid procrastination, and sit at your computer for the time it takes you to complete projects.
My advice? Vary the places you write. I get bored if I’m sitting in my office for hours, so I write in coffee shops, in our local library, and out in the garden if the weather’s fine. I even write on the sofa, while the rest of the family’s watching TV. Some writers close out distractions by wearing headphones and listening to music.
Copywriting is huge fun. You get to learn new things, exercise your creativity, and write for great money. If this life is for you, you’ll know it.
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