Pretty much everything you’ll ever feel when you’re a copywriter

Copywriting Is by Andrew Boulton (Gasp! Books)

You’ll feel like you’ve been given an awful lot of words in order to write just a few.

You’ll feel like a lot of people (who aren’t copywriters) think they can do what you do.

You’ll feel like you’re breaking loads of writing rules. (When really, there are none important enough to remain unbroken.)

You’ll feel like other writers do your job way better than you. (The people you admire feel the same about the people they admire and so on and so on.)

You’ll feel like your pencil is too heavy.

You’ll feel like your fingers never hit the keys you want them to.

You’ll feel like there are more wiggly red lines than there are words.

You’ll feel like you’re being judged while you write. (These judges are the real people in your life who never thought much of you. They live in your head. You are the landlord of your head. Evict the pricks.)

You’ll feel like you’re doing too much (often true).

You’ll feel like you’re not doing enough (rarely true).

(You’ll sometimes feel both of these things within the same minute.)

You’ll feel like people who know more about good writing think you’ve got it wrong. (They probably don’t, you probably haven’t.)

You’ll feel like people who don’t know as much about good writing as you have the final say. (They definitely don’t, they definitely do.)

You’ll feel like this is the greatest thing you’ve ever written. (And change your mind tomorrow.)

You’ll feel like this is the most worthless thing you’ve ever written. (Give yourself the chance to change your mind tomorrow.)

You’ll take it too seriously.

You’ll feel like some people are always dismissive of your ideas. (Pay close attention to whether these people ever have good ideas themselves.)

You’ll feel like this is your only chance. (There will be lots more, it takes a lifetime to lose all your chances as a writer).

You’ll feel like everyone around you knows what they’re doing. (They don’t.)

You’ll feel like you have to pretend you always know what you’re doing too. (You don’t.)

You’ll feel like you can’t ask anyone for help. (Ask anyone, ask everyone, ask me.)

You’ll feel like you want a biscuit.

You’ll feel like you eat too many biscuits.

You’ll feel like you don’t have good ideas. (This means you’re probably spending too much time at your desk.)

You’ll feel like you should spend more time at your desk. (Fucking don’t.)

You’ll feel like you must keep ‘you’ out of your copy. (This is impossible, there will always be some of you in there.)

You’ll feel like feedback is a one-way conversation. (It doesn’t have to be. But if you fight for stuff you need a good sense for when the fight is unwinnable.)

You’ll feel like fighting for everything. (Let it go. Practice this and it won’t feel the tiniest bit like defeat.)

You’ll feel like they chose the wrong option. (Maybe they did, maybe not. Just make sure you know why they chose what they did.)

You’ll feel like you should read more books. (You should.)

You’ll feel like you’re reading the wrong sort of books. (No such thing.)

You’ll feel like you have to justify every word you’ve chosen. (The words can do that for themselves.)

You’ll feel like, even though its hard and strange and fast and frustrating and sometimes unkind and very often stupid, you have found a happy way to make a living.

You’ll feel like there’s no way you could do a grown-up job now.

(You’ll feel like a copywriter.)

Andrew Boulton is the author of the no.1 bestseller Copywriting Is: 30 or so thoughts on thinking like a copywriter

Senior Lecturer in Creative Advertising at the University of Lincoln & Copywriter