How to Create Breakthrough Moments

Cindy Cyr taking over the reins again for The Writer’s Life …

As we approach the last lazy days of summer, I can’t help but get excited.

Partly because fall is when, in the past, I’ve enjoyed big “happy dance” moments in my business and taken significant steps forward.

I attribute much of that progress to my experiences at AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.

So this week, I thought I’d share some big takeaways from past AWAI bootcamps. I’ll give you the “aha” moments that helped me make giant leaps forward.

You’ll get an idea of how much attending Bootcamp can speed up your success. And you can use my experiences right now to move past stumbling blocks you may be encountering too.

Four years ago, I attended my first AWAI Bootcamp.

I chose three spec assignments to complete before the actual event. These are projects in which a prospective client tests out new copywriters. If they like your work, they’ll hire you.

The problem was it took me a really long time to write a headline and lead—an entire month, in fact.

A bit frustrated, I turned to a book I’d heard a lot about, Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. Recommended as a must-read, I thought perhaps it’d help me write better and faster.

There was a goldmine of information in the book …

But the truth is, I didn’t really understand most of it … until I went to Bootcamp.

In his opening remarks, Michael Masterson brought me over to the land of understanding the different types of headlines and leads and when to use each one based on the product, the target market, and more.

Suddenly, I understood what Eugene Schwartz was saying.

More importantly, I understood why.

In this major “AHA moment,” Michael handed me the “rules” for how to decide which headline and lead works best in various situations—slashing the time it took me to write a headline and lead to just a few days.

I continue to have moments like this—when suddenly something makes sense …

Can you relate?

Valuable lessons came from that Bootcamp experience—lessons that can help you curb self-doubt and frustration whenever you run into something you don’t quite understand … yet.

So if you hit a brick wall on your road to the writer’s life, remember the following:

  1. Endurance and perseverance make all the difference. Generally, these two factors are more important than your experience or current level of knowledge. It’s tempting to give up when something isn’t coming easily—stick with it, though, and you’ll reap the rewards.

Had I given up on my writer’s dream when it took so long to write, I wouldn’t be living life on my terms today.

  1. Don’t just read about it. Apply it. Sometimes when you only read about a concept, it can seem confusing. Try applying the idea in the real world. When you practice it in your own writing, the concept will come alive, helping you work through it.
  2. Look for an underlying problem. When tackling problems, look to see if there’s an underlying problem you should solve first. In my case, the issue on the surface was that I took too long to write. But my real problem was I didn’t understand which headline and lead to use. Once I did, I completed this easily.

As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

  1. Ask for help. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask any one of the staff at AWAI, your instructors, or the master copywriters you meet at Bootcamp. Often they can explain things in a different way, saving you time and frustration in finding the answer.

If you don’t understand something, remember, it simply means you don’t have enough information yet. As you acquire knowledge and experience, you’ll start “getting it” faster.

Don’t beat yourself up—just keep working at it and the answers will come.

What are you struggling with? Share it below so maybe I can help.

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Published: August 29, 2011

6 Responses to “How to Create Breakthrough Moments”

  1. I always have situations where other photographers "copy" my photos o0r my creative ideas. One friend's daughter visited my home gallery and asked me questions about my equipment and then started a photography business; she purchased all of the same equipment and photo ideas! My husband says I should be flattered...but this happens all too often. I am highly creative and use photography as my outlet. I try to watermark all of my photos, yet that is not copyright protection is it?
    Thank you,

    Cheryl Dean

    Guest (Cheryl)August 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm

  2. Thank you for sharing your experiences...it made me realize that my hesitation with the practice sales letter from the Online Companion Series is not a singular one! I am sure I have changed the headline and lead 10 times at least, while trying to follow the instructions and tips to do it 'right'. I am passionate about succeeding and yet feel frozen to proceed! ugh! any suggestions? thanks, kellie

    Guest (Kellie)August 29, 2011 at 8:42 pm

  3. Hi Cindy! My problem-I'm having a hard time finishing my restaurant sales letter. I can't think of a catchy headline. I'm also having problems with the body - proof. I have all the info i need, it's just putting everything together. I really want to succeed so I can live life on my terms like you. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    YulandaAugust 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

  4. Thanks Cindy! I will put this into practice.

    YulandaAugust 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm


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