From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Taking on Multiple Assignments at Once

Hi Scott,

I loved attending this year’s Bootcamp, but now that I’m home, I’ve thought of questions I should have asked "the masters" while I was there.

One in particular concerns a typical workload of a working copywriter. Of course, I know that depends on the client, the scope of the project, the skill/experience/speed of the copywriter, and just how busy the copywriter wants to be.

But is there a general "ballpark" figure about how many direct mail packages a copywriter juggles at the same time? Is there an average amount of time most copywriters allow for completing a package – one week? four weeks? eight weeks? Thanks!

Nancy P.

Hello Nancy,

It was nice meeting you at bootcamp this year. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can speak from experience of having answered this question before. As a professional copywriter you will have to take on a couple of assignments at once. But never more than you are comfortable with.

Working on multiple assignments has its benefits. For instance, if you hit a snag on a particular project you can put it down and work on something else. This keeps you moving and keeps the fresh ideas flowing. If you ask any good copywriter they will tell you that the dissemination of new ideas is best way to get over writers block.

I’ve heard Bob, Paul, and Don talk about project times. The answer – as you’re probably expecting as a regular reader of the “mail bag” – is that it varies. It depends on what you’re writing and how many times you’ve written it before. Some short ads and brochures can be done in a day, but I think you’re talking about the big projects like full direct mail packages. Those could take you 3 to 4 weeks to write. You might whittle that down a bit as you become more skilled, but probably not too much.

Hope to see you again at next year’s bootcamp!


Hello Scott,

I decided to become a professional copywriter this year – curiously, the same year I became eligible to join AARP. Somewhat recklessly, I left behind my former career as a chiropractor and physical therapist. Then I joined the AWAI Founder’s Circle because I knew that spending that much money would motivate me to learn the skills necessary to succeed. After attending the recent Copywriting Bootcamp, I sent off my first-ever spec assignment. That same day, I scored a regular copywriting gig with, a prominent health & wellness website. Sometimes, you just have to decide.

Thanks AWAI, for helping me decide.

Susan N.

Hello Susan,

Congratulations!! Yours is one of many success stories we’ve received since bootcamp. I’m glad the Founder’s Circle has made a difference for you.

Dear Scott:

Congratulations on keeping the mailbag functioning after several hurricanes and many tropical storms. I heard on the news you were pretty hard-hit by the weather down there in Florida.

I am new to this whole sales and marketing thing but I am very excited about the information I’ve gotten from The Golden Thread and the Accelerated Program for Six-figure Copywriting. I’ve learned so much in such a short time. More than I ever learned in college.

Roger M.

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!


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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: November 21, 2005

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