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Like all good cakes, it takes time to bake September 21, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in Copy writing, writing.
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I hope that, unlike GLaDOS, this cake isn’t a lie.

My copywriting freelancing is growing, slowly. I am making connections and meeting people who are interested. Perhaps the cake simile might be replaced with fish nibbling at some bait but not actually taking it. But that has more references to trying to catch something, rather than creating something. Similes are important people!

I have created and completed one piece of work, a one page web page and an email to send to established clients. And just like the novel-writing creative side of myself, once i handed it in I went – oh darn I could have done that better. I could have used these words. I think this is a natural reaction for writers, and students who have just finished an exam. He liked what I produced, I just know what things I can do better next time. While I have been a writer for many years, I am new to the business of writing, and am learning.

Learning is good. I love to learn things. This means I am improving myself and increasing my knowledge of stuff.

So, this first client proposed a potential ongoing contract. Possibly a lot of ongoing work, which of course I am jumping at. I gave him a suggested way of doing business and he is chewing it over.

But since my last post I have had an offer for a potential monthly e-newsletter, a sort of job interview with a Business and Life Coach, Rodd Perrin. He runs Successful Business Life. The interview was good, he suggested some great ways for me to kick-start my business and myself, and in return he got to know me so he can refer me to people he knows need copy writing work. Another cake taking its time to bake.

I think I am liking this cake simile because it rhymes. Just saying.

And I have another client meeting this week to discuss further work potential. Things seem to be growing.

My biggest dilemma at this stage is, can I grow quick enough to a point where I can survive? At this stage I am trying to work to live, to get enough work coming in to pay the bills. All of the above shows it can be done, I just need to get there, else I may have to go back into the office.

Creatively? I started doing the 30 Days of World Building. This is a really good series of exercises to do. Thinking about climate and weather as plot points helped me clear a block I had in getting my protagonists out of the city and start the pursuit. Just because of weather! The problem I have with these exercises? I am now stuck on the map-making section, and its 21 days into the entire series! Oops. I also have to figure out important things such as politics, religion.

I have decided there is going to be a Royal Family, and hence the currency is going to be Crowns and Scepters, with possibly the big currency going to be some sort of reflection of the Royalty standard. I haven’t decided which animal or magical beast that will be yet.

I started creating the map with three landmasses colliding over geological time, and creating mountain ranges and such. I looked at the wind and weather patterns of our planet and modeled them on what I had created, and modified it for the mountain ranges. This is important to me considering that air ship rely on certain wind patterns in certain seasons. The less steam power you can use, and the more wind power you can use, the cheaper it is to fly, and the more profitable the trade route.

When October hits I will begin to create the characters of my story. I have created, in my head, some awesome characters, however I need to remember they are not the lead characters of my story. I need the story to be about that couple over there, not about the air ship crew, or the villains, or the industrial hierarchy. I must maintain control over MY story, rather than let the characters run away with THEIR story.

So, now I must get back to work, re-learning HTML and finding a good desktop publishing program, and to do some exercises, like a 2 page tourist brochure  for a fictional penguin island tour.

I have found my range from the foul line again. September 9, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in Copy writing.
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I play basketball and I enjoy it quite a bit. Have been playing for over twenty years. This year I had a niggling shoulder injury, tendonitis. It was the tendon which controls lift and extension in my right arm – the basketball shooting action. Each time I shot the ball it hurt, basically. I received some physio work on my shoulder and this eventually freed my arm up, lessened the pain and I could play again. However, during the time of being injured I was compensating for my injury by changing my shot. When I came back my shots were off.

This week I finally found my range again. I hit my sweet jump shots from the foul line, the high post, which I am known for. 8 points. Still need to get back the courage to go smashy-smashy under the ring, but that will come.

A friend was trying to link me finding my shooting range again to something of a higher guide, showing me that I am about to find other things again, that I will be given success. And while I do like my friend dearly, they can be a bit esoteric, even for my tastes.

While I appreciate the sentiment, often the Universe does not just grant you things. You have to show commitment and work towards what you want, and then the Universe rewards you. I had work done to my shoulder, and then went shooting the basketball to get my rhythm back and hey presto, shots fall.

I left my regular employment three weeks ago. A LOT of friends congratulated me on this bold move, telling me it was a good move to leave a negative space and open myself up for possibilities. And while I agreed with their sentiments, I was not expecting riches and writing fame to drop from the sky into my lap. No, I would have to work for it.

For the past three weeks I have attended the Business Networks International business meeting. I think I said in my last post I would update you on how it went. Sorry, I forgot. So, in short – they are a group of self-employed local business owners who meet for breakfast, give a 60 spiel about themselves and their business, talk about what they can offer and so on. Members refer clients to each other for work. Its great.

I met some people there, all friendly and easy to get along with. They were all mystified about what it is a copy writer did, but slowly they are understanding. Others, such as the printers and the graphics designer, they know all about it. So, in my third meeting yesterday I spoke to an IT consultant who wanted some copy writing done. And the graphics designer sat with me, also offering me some potential work.

By making the effort to get up for a 7am breakfast meeting every Thursday, I have made 2 contacts for potential work. It didn’t magically fall from the sky for me.

This has inspired me to put more work in, though. See what other fruits will grow from the seeds.