Everyone Needs a Little Push Now and Then to Get Their Career Started


Will Newman

Will Newman here again today and the rest of this week. I’ve been introducing you to AWAI members I’ve stayed in touch with over the years. In fact, I had the opportunity to catch up with many of them at this year’s Bootcamp. I asked each person to share ONE thing … one lesson that could help another reader see why writing is a life-changing career.

Today I’m going to introduce to Jim Panter. First, though, I want to share with you an idea from article written by AWAI staffer and master marketer Sandy Franks that was published here in The Writer’s Life. She said writers are not born; they’re made. I totally agree with this. That said, I’m convinced the next of my Circle of Success friends we’re going to visit must’ve been born with a “love of writing gene.”

This inborn love of writing might seem a bit unusual given Jim Panter’s background. I’ll let Jim tell you what he told me about himself earlier today.

I spent 23 years in the U.S. Air Force – nine as an enlisted man, the remainder flying C-130s. After that, I worked 17 years for FedEx as an instructor and pilot.

Even when I was flying, writing has been something I’ve nibbled all my life. I even have an MFA in creative writing. I once took a class from the Famous Writers Course in how to write fiction. Then I got married and writing fiction took a back seat to married life.

Then I got The Accelerated Program sometime in 2005 or 2006. Like a lot of the COS-ers I’ve met here at Bootcamp, I put it aside.

Then late last year I got an AWAI letter about Circle of Success. It all sounded good. Like getting all the AWAI programs for free. Or the special Targeted Learning Program instruction with live teachers.

But what attracted me most was Bootcamp … being able to get it free for a couple of times and then for a discount later.

Something told me Bootcamp would give me the push I needed to get me writing for real.

And I need that push right now because of how my family situation’s changed. You see, my daughter died recently, and I inherited her three children. So now I’m Mr. Mom to my lovely 10-, 9-, and 2-year old grandchildren.

I’m very glad I did come to Bootcamp this year. I’m learning a lot of new ideas for copywriting. But I’m also getting a lot of confidence … and a huge amount of support.

The amount of support really surprised me about Bootcamp. I didn’t expect the family atmosphere we have here. How everybody is so friendly and accommodating. The AWAI folks. Other AWAI members … specially my fellow COS-ers. Even the presenters, the big name copywriters earning the big bucks.

Bootcamp and COS have given me the same confidence I had back when I was flying planes. I know I can really do this. Next year, I’m going to submit the Bootcamp spec that won Les the $10,000 Bootcamp challenge. [Les Worley was sitting across the table from Jim.]

I’m not only going to submit it—I’m going to win it!

I have two other things to pass on from Jim. First, he says, “copywriting is just as much fun as writing fiction. Except … it pays a heck of a lot more.”

Then Jim went on to tell me one of his dreams is to help fund an organization to help abused, abandoned, or pregnant teen girls. Given his determination and spirit, I’m willing to bet he’ll do it.

What dreams do you have that copywriting will help bring to life? We’d love to hear about them. Tell us in the comment section.

Tomorrow we get together for the last time when you get to meet another of my Circle of Success friends, Penny Hunt. Penny is going to tell you about her 3-G’s for success.

Until then, keep writing!

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Published: October 29, 2015

19 Responses to “Everyone Needs a Little Push Now and Then to Get Their Career Started”

  1. I have always loved writing. I won my first contest in 5th grade and won two weeks at Yosemite National Park. I have taken several writing programs but was unable to finish them due to life events.

    I discovered AWAI at the end of July this year and have already determined the COS is for me. I was unable to attend bootcamp this year but I will see you there next year.

    I really love this and it meets several of my needs; to write, to help others, to learn and to earn money. I have a blog in mind to help others but want to get my business up and active by January. Yes, I still have a LOT to learn. But, that is something I intend to do for the rest of my life. No more retirement for this old gal.

    JudyP1946October 29, 2015 at 1:15 pm

  2. As I'm finishing part 1 of the six figure accelerated program, the sound bite by Rebecca really hit home for me! "Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you freedom." Freedom is my dream...freedom to determine my income level, my work hours, freedom from a job in an industry that I no longer respect, and from its company policies I find disagreeable.
    I am excited and scared all at once, but more than anything, full of HOPE!
    Thank you, AWAI (smiley face) Melissa Hoots Kernersville, NC

    Guest (Melissa)October 29, 2015 at 1:31 pm

  3. great article. But I'm a little confused. You said "First, though, I want to share with you an article written by AWAI staffer and master marketer Sandy Franks that was published here in The Writer’s Life."

    Did you mean to share the article, or just the one sentence? I didn't see any link.

    Thanks for sharing all the rest, though. Great stuff!

    Guest (Tina)October 29, 2015 at 1:47 pm

  4. Not all writers are made. Some of us desired to write as far back as we remember. We didn't decide, "Hey, writing sounds like a great way to make money. I'll try it." Writing chose us. We born writers will write whether we make money or not. We were discouraged by parents and teachers. We tried to walk away, but came back. We understand the writers who starved in cold lofts. True, we need to learn our craft. It's not another job like a machine operator. We love what we do.

    Flying WriterOctober 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm

  5. Best wishes to Jim and his family!

    P.S. My vote, if I had one, is for Jim to be the next $10,000 Bootcamp prize winner. I'd love to read what he writes to win!

    Guest (Debbie Fletcher)October 29, 2015 at 2:28 pm

  6. Thank you for your letter, Mr. Newman. I can relate to the things Jim Panter talked about. Before I can dream I have to stop being afraid, spent too many years being in the wrong state of mind, right now I am just enjoying the fresh air of freedom. The encouragement is helping me, nice to know someone cares. I am getting on my feet a lot faster than I thought I would. I like to write but people tell me I write in circles, so I don't know if I have what it takes to be a copywriter, but I do want to give it a try, hopefully soon. Sincerely, Nancy J. Frederick

    Guest (Nancy J Frederick)October 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm

  7. Will, I hope you are not gone from COS for good re. your "get together for the last time" comment. You have been a great instructor and are passing on a great legacy if so. I have a number of priorities I have been taking small goal steps on since arrival back from Boot Camp. Besides B2B and the new COS agenda, I am into the Writer's Digest NANOWRIMO 1500 word short story marathon. I entered it last year and learned I must concentrate on character arcs and prose. Specs will come next.

    mike1000October 29, 2015 at 3:53 pm

  8. hello curious about copy writing get me off the job i have now and to live a dream as a author i am need money to pursue to make it real

    Guest (daniel )October 29, 2015 at 8:18 pm

  9. Mr Newman,

    In regards of your letter about interests of being as a copywriter. I would tell you that my biggest dream is to write about different places, countries, values, and beliefs/norms I have learned as a Former World Professional Surfer of the WQS-WSL.

    Guest (Jorge Alexander Kamkoff)October 29, 2015 at 8:56 pm

  10. Airman Panter, so sorry for the loss of your daughter. God bless you for turning your grief into a passion for helping at-risk girls. I just started the Accelerated program and am having the usual beginners' doubts. Your story was a blessing to me, just as the story you are submitting will be a blessing to others. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Guest (Sharon)October 29, 2015 at 11:08 pm

  11. Well i agree that most of the people in the writing business are made not born, but i think my story is uniquely different because i believe i am a born writer but it is a sad truth that i am still struggling to be a successful writer.Although, i have written articles and academic papers but this not something i like to do. Can anybody has suggestions for me to write what i love to write and earn big money.

    Guest (Sajjad Brohi)October 30, 2015 at 2:51 pm

  12. Thank you for sharing Jim's story with me. It is encouraging. The truth is, many people wish to become published authors, it is good. The truth is, you can publish many books but you will not be able to make money from it until you meet the media, this is difficult. I am speaking from experience. I have published two books. I am yet poor. I love writing it is in my blood. It is difficult to cope without money. I joined the AMAI because I want a change. I hope to embrace the change. Thank you.

    ChinyereOctober 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm


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