The First Trimester of Copywriting

If you’ve ever been pregnant, or know someone who has been, you probably know the first trimester can be a roller coaster.

By that, I mean the first three months of pregnancy can be good, bad, ugly, or all three rolled into one.

Some women feel great and glow with joy. Others get bloated and sick. Then you’ve got the emotional highs and lows to contend with.

Today, I want to build on the conversation we started yesterday ­– about how birthing a baby and birthing a new career have a lot in common.

In those early stages of switching to freelance copywriter, just like the early stages of being pregnant, you often don’t want to tell a lot of people.

For one thing, you don’t want them to judge you. You don’t want them to secretly think, “Wow, are you sure you can handle this kind of responsibility?” or “Wow, I don’t really see how you’re going to pull this off …”

On the flip side, people become hesitant to ask you about your decision. This is true even for your closest friends and family. They wonder whether you’ve really weighed the magnitude of your choice and whether you realize how much it’ll change your life.

For newly-expectant parents and fledgling copywriters, the questions are the same: Who are you, do you have it in you to follow through on this, and will you succeed?

Really, it comes down to your self-concept. In other words, what are five ways you can describe yourself when you ask the question, “Who am I?”

According to social psychologist David Myers, your five answers dictate the two halves that make up your self-concept: specifically, your “self-schema” and your “possible self.”

Your self-schema is the way you perceive yourself, such as smart, athletic, or overweight. It influences how you process social information.

Your possible self, on the other hand, is the image of who you might become. It could be someone you dream of or dread becoming in the future.

A newly-expectant mother usually wonders how she’ll handle a pregnancy. She has doubts and fears about the way her body will change, and whether she can handle such a long journey.

Newly-turned copywriters go through the same thing. You question the way your life will change, and whether it’s wise to venture out of your comfort zone.

You especially question whether you’ll be successful and content … and whether it’ll be worth it in the end.

These worries can do a heck of a job on your self-esteem. That means you’ve got to overcome them. How? Picture yourself as capable, dedicated, and flexible. Just thinking about having those traits makes it easier to emulate them. In turn, it becomes easier to take one step at a time … and consistently move forward.

To help you do this, I’ve written an article I’d like you to read on becoming your own self-fulfilling prophecy.

Then I’d like for you to do me a favor and write down five positive words that describe your strengths. Then think about them for five minutes every day this week.

Continue to do this, and you’ll improve your self-schema (self-perception). Gradually, the question of who you have the potential to become – be it a new parent or a successful copywriter – will no longer be a question, but a conviction.

Care to share your five words? Tell me about them in the comments below.

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Published: April 26, 2011

15 Responses to “The First Trimester of Copywriting”

  1. Hi Mindy, Before I share my words, I want to say with every positive notion the devil will come in and counter it with doubt. Herein is the primary issue that tethers one before severing the tie-down.
    1. Determined
    2. Persevering
    3. Hopeful
    4. Ever-curious
    5. Desirous Looking forward to your next article. Thanks for the exercise; the greasing of the intellect. Made me think in earnest of what needs to be fine tuned and put into action. ;-)

    G W Mozley

  2. The voices that stop me are like a spoiled children yelling at me to do something else more distracting. It's hard to lock them in their room and let me make some headway in my day. But I do jingle the keys in my hand and get them under control
    *creative *writer *loyal *skilled *reliable

    Guest (Rusty L)

  3. I wish you every happiness!

    Guest (Richard)

  4. 1.) Smart
    2.) Perceptive
    3.) Knowledgable
    4.) Communicative
    5.) Creative

    Of course, I debated all of these with a strong wave of self-doubt. But I came up with examples supporting each one. Thanks.


  5. Hi Mindy, This is hard, but here goes:
    1. Honest
    2. Persevering
    3. Curious
    4. Caring
    5. Loyal

    Guest (Clara Mae Watrous)

  6. Five words describing my strengths:Tenacious, empathetic, Hard-working, intelligent, insightful. My goal everyday is for my strengths to overpower my weaknesses. Although I am very hard-working, at times I am working hard doing things that do not move me toward my goals. I can be a little ADD when my brain starts rapid-firing to stay on task with the neccessaries while capturing useful ideas. Sometimes I feel like my ideas come into my mind like a Piccasso portrait and I struggle to sort them.

    Guest (Colleen)

  7. Good article.

    We all seem to share some strengths. My words were:
    Intelligent (smart, creative, perceptive) Doggedness (persevering, tenacious) Clarity of communication (writer, insight) Empathetic (caring) Integrity (reliable, loyal, honest...)

    I only wish I lived closer so I could attend bootcamp.

    Guest (David)

  8. Hi David! I know Mindy would agree - even if you live far away, Bootcamp is still worth the travel! It's a unique experience that will forever change your mindset, career, etc. But, if you can't attend, remember, AWAI puts out the homestudy ( that you can still benefit from Bootcamp even if you can't attend in person. Do check into that option... :)
    Best wishes!

    Angela Bickford - AWAI

  9. These are 5 traits that desribe me but I also would like to improve on these-what I mean is I want these to be second nature.1)Loyal,2)Alert(always aware of opportunities and ways to improve my life),3)Persevering,4)Proactive

    David Adame

  10. Only 5, hmmmmm - Intelligent, Creative, Quick, Tenacious, Intuitive.
    I agree with colleen's entry about working hard but not moving quickly enough toward my goals. Need to work smarter - not harder :)

    Kathy Daly-Unfricht

  11. i m smart,loyal,intelligent,positive,and a goodperson. and looking forward for your article. kanchi

    Guest (kanchi)

  12. Your thoughts are timely for me. Just bought Peter Drucker's Managing Oneself, from the Harvard Business Review Classics Series. Little book with a Big impact.

    Maturity and decades of experience find me organized, persuasive, clear-headed, relentless, and aware - Aloha


  13. Hi Mindy,

    Your words are so motivatiing! I am brand-new here in that I just got my password and am busy browsing the AWAI website, soaking up all I can! After thinking about my words I came up with: 1/ reliable, 2/enthusiastic, 3/hard-working, 4/caring, 5/communicative. ;)

    Congratulations, too, on your new baby! Best wishes on all fronts for the future.


  14. 5 words?, what about,... uhmm, really I can´t find 5 words in my english vocabulary, I spent too much time delaying my decisition to become a succesful copywriter, I need to back to the program and to be the person that I really want to be. Thank you for your alert call Mindy.

    Guest (Sarbelio)

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