Hopefully you are reading this because you are thinking of becoming a copywriter. You probably enjoyed it in copy class in college, or generally have a way with words and want to make some cash out of it. This article is a first in a series meant for newcomers thinking about foraging into the field, hopefully to help dispel some myths and my thoughts on the world of advertising and copywriting. To boldly tell you the fast facts and do away with the gloss that a lot of books on the subjects seem to indulge in.
Welcome to the real world
Sounds like something straight out of the matrix? No not really. Though there is a difference between letting your creative juices loose for fun and for a job. And the sooner you get it, the sooner you can get better at your job of writing.
In the real world copywriting is not quite like it is in class. In class, copywriting is a pure expression of creativity. The likes of which you only ever experience at work when you are entering for one of those advertising competitions. In the real world it is more of a balancing act of diplomacy and pandering to many a whim and fancy. Be ready for the democratic iterative process of writing. Be warned though that quite a few people who speak the word, believe somewhere in their heart that they are equally adept to write the word (don’t worry the designers don’t have it easy either. It will take some time and quite a bit of proving before yours is going to be the final say. What is probably more important to keep in mind is that the copy and creative needs to sell the product, first and foremost, something we tend to overlook in class (and even sometimes at work).
Take the first step
Take a leap of faith and take a shot at your dream of being a copywriter. But do so knowing full well what you are getting yourself into. Develop a fine balance of being both passionate and dispassionate towards writing copy. I for one find solace in the fact that no matter what the iteration, at the end of the day the copy is mine. You will have your way to make it work for you. Never forget that creative romance you felt in class, takes you the miles. Work won’t be work if you don’t forget it and a formula for easy money.
There are those who say copywriting and advertising in general have lost the glory of yester years. True today the client is more adept having dabbled in it all and feels that, heck I can do the creative (copy and art) just as well. Blind faith if it ever was there, is a thing of the past. This is not the glamorous lives as portrayed in the hit TV series Mad Men. But few things can compare to the experience of working into advertising. So step right up and stay tuned for more. If anyone has queries and thoughts feel free to write in.