When coining a phrase is your bread and butter, it’s sometimes hard for people to take you seriously. When I tell people I make my living as a copywriter, I brace myself for one of two responses. The first is a casual eye roll and condescending shrug. Yeah right. Like that’s a real career. I have Microsoft word. I can type a few words onto a page and charge people for it. Or I guess nowadays, it’s more like: Yeah, you know there’s an app for that?
“sitting in cafes typing away furiously at a future masterpiece while sipping over-priced lattés”
The second, and more frequent response I come across, is the romantic ideals most people associate with writers – sitting in cafes typing away furiously at a future masterpiece while sipping over-priced lattés while regular Joes look on. Living the dream, right?
Unfortunately, both of these are far from the truth. So to set the record straight, I’m debunking a few of my favourite life-as-a-writer myths. Hopefully you will laugh. Hopefully it will shed some light on the perilous woes of the literary elite. Hopefully, if you are still studying, it’s not too late to change your major. And if you are a fellow writer reading this, my condolences. Hopefully you will have better luck in your next career.
- 1. Sitting in a field of flowers waiting for inspiration to strike.
- 2. Pouring your heart and soul into a literary masterpiece for future generations to enjoy.
- 3. Working in a café sipping over-priced lattés while everyone else spends 9 – 5 in an office.
- 4. Quoting Shakespeare, Pope, Milton and Donne to anyone who will listen.
- 5. Getting to work from home, which means enjoying a G&T at 3pm on a Friday after a successful, distraction-free day of work.
- 1. Staring at a screen waiting for your WiFi to connect.
- 2. Pouring your heart and soul into a crappy headline you hope the client will approve.
- 3. Working in a café with 30 other deadline-driven writers all trying to piggyback off the free WiFi.
- 4. Quoting the rules of “their”, “they’re” and “there” to anyone who will listen.
- 5. Getting to work from home, which means pushing your cat off your keyboard for the hundredth time while you wait for a gap between the washing machine and dishwasher cycles to shower … usually around 3pm on a Friday.
So why do I do it? Because every now and then (between the long hours, ridiculous deadlines, thankless clients and indecipherable briefs) you get to do something great. Something you are proud of. Something that makes a difference.