“I am a copywriter!”

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are surely right.”

While this holds true for all of us, it’s especially true for copywriters.

Over the years, I’ve been to half a dozen AWAI Bootcamps and other events. Usually, the majority of the folks who attend don’t have much confidence yet, citing their reason for being there is “to learn to become a copywriter.”

And during the three days we’re together, that’s exactly what happens.

Now, AWAI’s Conference Director, Denise Ford, might not like my saying this … but the reason for their transformation is not simply the fact that they attended Bootcamp – as great as the events always are …

It happens the moment they acknowledged to themselves that they are a copywriter.

And, the same is true for you.

It doesn’t matter how much copywriting knowledge you have. You won’t truly be a copywriter until you tell yourself, “I am a copywriter!”

That’s how it happened for AWAIer Kathleen C.:

“After leaving Bootcamp on Saturday evening, I met someone who asked me what I did. For the first time, I looked her straight in the eye and said, ‘I am a copywriter.’”

If you’re not where Kathleen is yet, don’t worry. I’m about to give you 6 easy steps you can take right now that can instantly turn you into a bona-fide copywriter. But before you read any further, I want you to say this out loud right now:

“I am a copywriter!”

A little louder …

“I am a copywriter!”

One last time, with conviction …

“I am a copywriter!!”

Now that you’ve taken the most important action of all, here are the 6 easy steps to making your commitment real …

Step 1: Draw up a physical schedule.

Get a big piece of paper. Divide the page by drawing 7 equal columns. At the very top, label the columns with the days of the week.

Now draw horizontal lines marking 24 one-hour blocks of time for each day.

Keeping in mind the time of day when you do your best writing (early in the morning? late at night?), label 8 of those one-hour spaces for sleep.

Next, label slots for things you absolutely must do at a certain time – like your “day job” or driving the kids to school.

Tentatively block out time for commitments you have to honor but that are flexible.

Schedule one hour a day for exercise and one hour a day for fun activities.

Now, from the time that’s left, block out a MINIMUM of 30 minutes a day – more if you can – for studying the secrets of compelling copywriting and practicing your writing.

This is YOUR “Copywriting Success Time.” (If you have young children at home with you during the day, try to schedule several short work blocks interspersed with 15-minute breaks for the kids.)

Step 2: Display your schedule.

Hang up your schedule where you and you family can see it. This serves as a reminder to everyone – especially you – of the serious commitment you have made.

Step 3: Stick to your schedule.

When someone wants you to do something with him or for him during YOUR “Copywriting Success Time,” simply point to your schedule. Tell the person, “Not now. This is my work time.” Find another time to handle the person’s request.

Step 4: Get rid of your “home office.”

It doesn’t matter if your workspace is a room, a corner of a room, or a corner of the dining room table. This is NOT your home office. The first word in home office is “home.”

Instead, call your workspace your “office.” This minor change in wording creates a huge change in perception.

During your “Copywriting Success Time,” adopt the mindset that you’re commuting to work, even if that commute (like mine) is just a few feet down the hallway.

Step 5: Do nothing but work during your “Copywriting Success Time.”

Once you’re at your “office,” you have only one focus: WORK.

  • Get a phone or answering machine with Caller ID or one that allows you to screen calls too. During your “Copywriting Success Time,” answer only those calls that are work-related. Ignore calls from friends and family. Call them back later and explain, “I was at work when you called.”
  • Check email only once during “Copywriting Success Time” – at the beginning or at the end. Read only email that is directly work-related.
  • Stay off the Internet, except for work-related research. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Step 6: Enrich your copywriting expertise – and contacts – by signing up for in-person, face-to-face copywriting events

The materials you get from AWAI are superb. They give you what you need to know how to succeed in this business.

But there is nothing as powerful – or as career-boosting – as surrounding yourself with the most successful copywriters in the world. Listening and learning from them. Asking them questions. Picking their brains.

These face-to-face events are perfect places to make contacts with other copywriters and marketers. These contacts rapidly become special networks of encouragement and help that push you harder, faster, more surely toward success than you can do on your own.

Now, one more time …

I am a copywriter!”

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: June 16, 2008

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