The lone art director on a copywriting course
Last week I went on a copywriting course to see if I could get the hang of this whole writing malarkey. I must admit I’m rather intimidated by copy. And meeting new people. And speaking out loud to said strangers… So, I wasn't exactly thrilled to be going #UngratefulBastard.
As I sat down and we introduced ourselves, I realised I was the only art director. Everyone else wrote copy for a living... Bril-li-ant. I thought this was copywriting for dummies? How to string together a sentence 101 style. Instead, I was going to have to read OUT LOUD copy I had attempted to write, to a complete group of strangers, professional copywriting strangers… er, shoot me now please?
An hour or so into the course, we were asked to write 200 words on something we felt passionate about. Now, I’m not a fan of opening up to people I barely know, but the dreaded F word popped into my head immediately. It was the only thing that I could think of.
Feminism. 'Blah blah blah, womens rights. Blah blah blah, we don’t hate men'. Christ. It’s a big fuckin’ subject to chat about to strangers. Strangers who you’re terrified of. On a copywriting course you think you’re going to suck at. Hasn’t anyone shot me yet?
If you read my last blog post, you may realise (as I’m starting to)… that I have a tendency to accidentally go balls deep on things I give a shit about. So, off I went. 'Blah blah blah'. Emma Watson must of had prepare weeks for this kinda stuff. I had twenty minutes. I tried to be personal, and not too preachy. To break the stereotypical image of the man hating hairy, angry feminist by being a bit self-deprecating, with the odd penis joke thrown in. No speech about feminism is complete with a penis joke. True story.
As I read out loud, I could feel my face becoming an uncomfortable shade of red. My hands shook, and my voice shook more. I had to just stare at my words, jiggling on the paper to get through it. I daren’t look any of those intimidating bastards in the eye.
As I finished, our teacher Will Awdry, began to clap. I looked up, as the rest of the group joined in. I nearly cried. Maybe I did cry? … I dunno, it was all a bit of a blur. I had bared my lil soul, attempted to write, and they embraced me doing so.
That moment had a profound impact of me. Genuinely. Not only did I come away with some tips and tricks on ways into copywriting, I came away feeling way more confident in my writing. I know I hadn’t written anything special, or released a secret copywriter inside, but I had tried my hardest, and they knew that... so I‘m beyond thankful for their support. In that moment, I no longer saw them as the intimating bastards, but some of the nicest people I’d met in a long time.
So my first taste of copywriting was pretty good in the end?! Who knew overcoming my fears and voicing my words to strangers could be so bloody liberating? I’m realising the more I write, the better I’ll become. And that makes me feel more confident about just cracking on with it. The learning process is far more bloody enjoyable now. Even reading this post back, it’s not that elegant, but hey-ho, neither am I… and I’m totes ma goats fine with that.
This is the link to the course if anyone fancies it. If you hadn’t noticed… I highly recommend it. https://www.dandad.org/en/d-ad-advertising-copywriting-creative-training-course/