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You put your write hand in…. October 2, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in Copy writing, writing.
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This blog was due to go up on Wednesday, but I held out until today. Why? Because I was told by my second client I had done work for that he would pay me on Friday. So I wanted to wait until today, check my bank and then say – I am now a paid freelance copywriter. No, it’s not much, it was a small job and I discounted the hourly rate a lot, but it was a job, we sat down, we talked, he told me what he wanted, I suggested some ideas, wrote them up and sent them to him. He discarded half of what I wrote, moved the text to where he wanted them, changed something I wrote and sent it back to me. I told him what he changed was not good because it repeated a key word which makes the word have less power.

I have yet to see the final product, but he was happy and he paid me. The above proceedings are typical client actions, I think. You need to be less precious about your work. You present, the client may not have got across to you their vision, and change it. Once you’ve handed the copy over and they say – I like it, it is theirs. You may see it in the future and wince, but it is no longer yours to concern yourself over. This is a lesson I am learning.

But yes, I have been paid, for a job, which I scored through the networking group. I am hoping there will be more soon.

I am still in a bit of a grey zone, however. I jumped right in, two feet first, not knowing how deep the water I was jumping into was. I left my job, felt empowered by this. Encouraged by many, supported by the most important, and off I went. I created a database, refined my templates, wrote some web copy, and joined a networking group.

Then it didn’t happen so very fast. I know, in the back of my mind i need to be patient. And I am, well I am trying to be. I had some money to live on. Paid for web hosting, the electric bill, the rent. Oh, not so much money now. Am I doing the right thing? Lets call some temp agencies for some fill-in work. Lets comb through job ads to see if there is something I can do, make some good money maybe?

But during the past week… I met with, composed and sent off that job.

I attended the induction meeting about how to sell yourself to the group, how to pare down all the noise about stuff and nonsense to know what it is you want to do, why you want to do it, and how to get it done. I became a member of the BNI Group, with a name tag and everything.

I met with another member from the networking group, a photographer. We chatted while he took my picture, all professional and studio shiny good. He handed me an A4 pamphlet which had been created for him, before a copywriter joined the group. He wasn’t too happy with the copy and asked me to re-write it. What would I do?

I then met with a couple who are printers, graphic designers, working in the digital and print design world. From the induction meeting a concept was shown to me – that of the power group. Find those industries which truly complement yours, and work with them. Printers are the next step along from a copywriter. Often someone goes to the printer and discovers they need to go back one step to get copywriting done first.

It was a great meeting, we talked business opportunities for each other, what I could do for them, for myself, what they could do for me. It was thrilling. It was a big moment, the moment where I shifted gears. Or, more like the moment I put the clutch to the floor in preparation of changing gears. I sense things are about to pick up, in a massive way.

And then I got paid….. shake it all about.

Creatively? It is now October. This is traditionally my month of Plotting and Planning for November. Did I do the full 30 days of world building? Nope. I got stuck on the map. Stupid map. But, I figured out currencies, government, evil organisation, that yes, I can have 2 suns for my world (thank you NASA), weather patterns, some divinity. So, I got some good stuff out of that exercise.

Now it is time to create the characters, the races, the monsters and wild animals. And the map… Now it is time to have major plot points, and link them. That is how I work. What major events I want, in chronological order. How I get from one to the other, I don’t mind, but getting there I will.

And I have to think of a title. I can think of hooks and shout outs in the advertising world. But a title for a novel? Tricky.

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