How Hesitating Can Cost You Your Writing Dream


Will Newman

“Copywriting literally saved my life.”

Circle of Success member Les Worley lives in Dallas with his husband of 29 years and his blue-eyed Australian shepherd, Mijo. He had been a software manager and IT director. But 2015 marked his transition to full-time copywriter.

I caught up with Les at this year’s Bootcamp when he uttered these stunning words. He’s very serious about copywriting being a lifesaver for him.

Les’ story is very personal. But it’s also similar to others I’ve heard from my COS friends. It’s one I think you’ll find interesting to say the least. You’ll see how when he finally made the commitment to writing, his life changed.

Here’s what Les tells us …

I’ve always loved writing. My company would turn to me for technical writing to clarify user manuals or that type of thing so people could understand it.

But technology and my job started to consume me. Corporate America tends to do that these days. So I had to take a step back from it and took a 14-month medical leave.

By the time I was ready to return to work, my position had been filled. I was faced with the dilemma of moving across country for a job that might not exist or starting back at my old company pretty much at the beginning.

Neither choice was good. About the same time, I discovered a newsletter called International Living. Because of IL, my husband and I decided to move to Mexico.

Probably because of subscribing to IL, I received a promotion that asked, “Can you write a simple letter?” It resonated with me, so I ordered The Accelerated Program right before leaving the United States. My intention was to take up copywriting as extra income in Mexico.

But I didn’t pursue the program. I guess I was still a young man and thought, “I’ll l have plenty of time to pursue this.” Weeks became months. And months became years.

When the financial crisis hit, I had to make a snap decision, and we returned to the US. Within weeks, I was back in the same job, in the same company, and I began deteriorating again.

So in 2013, I rediscovered The Accelerated Program. Shortly after picking up the program, I signed up for my first Bootcamp. I did it to decide once and for all if I was truly serious about living the writer’s life as a copywriter. Bootcamp was put up or shut up time.

I signed up for Circle of Success right before leaving Bootcamp. I did it to affirm my decision to become a successful copywriter.

This was the turning point for me. Because of the COS programs I’ve taken and Ed Gandia challenging me, I submitted a spec assignment for the 2014 Bootcamp.

The closing event on Saturday was the awards luncheon. I was called up on stage at the luncheon and received the prize for my spec assignment – a $1,000 contract to write for AWAI.

Because of that spec and COS, I left my job. And as of January 2015, I write copy full time. I’m in the Business-to-Business niche for technology companies. It’s the perfect niche given my background.

What have I gotten out of COS? I don’t think I would have written the spec challenge let alone have won it if I hadn’t taken the COS Targeted Learning Programs.

Plus, having access to all the AWAI programs has given me confidence knowing I have the resources I need when I need them. For example, since it was free for me, I took Steve Slaunwhite’s B2B course. Because of that, one client has thrown all sorts of assignments at me: web copy, white papers, articles. You name it.

COS is education. It’s motivation. It keeps you on track.

And because of COS, AWAI, and my decision to finally pursue my dream, I’m on course for making six-figures in 2016.

After Les finished telling me his story, I asked if he had any lessons he wanted to share with you.

First, because of the AWAI family, particularly COS, I learned there’s no need to do this alone. The support I get from other members, from instructors, and from AWAI has been incredibly valuable. I really am in a circle of successful people who keep me moving forward when I need encouragement and support.

Second … and this really is something I want your readers to know …

Follow your dream. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Hesitation can cost you your dream.

Les was a lot like many AWAI members. After getting The Accelerated Program, he didn’t leap right into it. He put it aside. Tomorrow, we’ll visit with another COS member who let her dreams sit on the bookcase for a number of years like Les did … but who had an effective strategy for getting back on track for making her dreams a reality.

I’d love to hear what you thought about Les’s journey. Are you on track with your dreams? What encouragement are you getting? Or what do you need to help you move forward on your journey? Let us know in the comment section. See you tomorrow.

Until tomorrow, remember to keep writing!

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Click to Rate:
Average: 4.6
Published: October 27, 2015

37 Responses to “How Hesitating Can Cost You Your Writing Dream”

  1. I'm not comfortable paying for something that was initially advertised as free. There are just too many scams out there.
    I can't afford to pay for something that really isn't what it claims to be.

    Guest (Sonya James)October 27, 2015 at 2:39 pm

  2. Hello Will, I started to receive two emails:
    One from Katie Yeakle and one from Rebecca Matter inviting me to be a member.
    I started many AWAI programs. But until now I still can not find a job for copywriting.
    Although I love to write, I write every day.
    I still work a full-time job 10 hours a dsy/ six days a week.
    I wonder when I can get a full-time job as copywriter so I can quit my recent job.
    Every company wants an experienced copywriter, not a newbie.
    I am struggling.
    jennie

    jennieOctober 27, 2015 at 2:46 pm

  3. As a brand-new COS member (signed up at Bootcamp), I just wanted to say thanks, Will, for this series of terrific introductions to the COS coaches & mentors we'll will be working with in the year ahead. Some I've met, some I look forward to meeting on this new adventure-- I'm in!

    SherriCOctober 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

  4. I would love to join COS, but the cost is giving me problems. I'm on a fixed income and I just don't think I can find $225 a month out of it for three years.

    Guest (Sue)October 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm

  5. Hello Will, I've been with AWAI since June 2014 and have known all along I want to work in mental health. I have not been as successful as I may have been because I have not sought local supports. There are many contacts in my community but I do not feel I can reach out to them since I was fired from my last job. Also, I am finding it difficult to get my foot in the door with others in the behavioral health marketplace elsewhere. I have 2 leads from Bootcamp that I hope for. Any suggestions?

    Nora KingOctober 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

  6. It would be nice to be a good writer to start with like this person. I cant write, I have had the course for years and everytime I start it I get stuck because I really cant write, and I do not have the time to learn because my job keeps me very busy.

    Guest (Glenn)October 27, 2015 at 4:07 pm

  7. In response to Sonya and Jennie, let me say that, if you really open your heart and your mind, the family at AWAI is there for you. But you must step forward and make the connection. No one is more skeptical than I am. Go to Bootcamp once, and you'll change your mind. That's partially why I keep responding to Will's articles here...I want to stay connected. You must have the drive, and the support is there. This IS the real deal, if you get out of your comfort zone, engage, and work hard.

    Joyce HOctober 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm

  8. Writing is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I know that I am good at it and I have written a children's book but need to get going on the submission process. I wrote some poetry as a teen and have some short stories but I'm not really sure how to get started as a copywriter. I know that I need the training and am a bit stuck on what is the best way to do that.

    Guest (Angelica)October 27, 2015 at 4:45 pm

  9. It is taking me a long time to finish. I start then stop then start again! How does one stay motivated? Will applying for jobs before finishing the program help?

    Karen EOctober 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

  10. Love your style. Also the grey hair. I have some too. I was planning to attend COS this term, but I have to wait until next. Look forward to meeting you in May.

    Robert PhillipsOctober 27, 2015 at 5:48 pm

  11. I was touched by Les and his portrayal of how his life changed when he finally decided to become a writer full-time.

    Being able to make a decision to further his life and having the funding to do so is paramount and I applaud him.

    I've been a writer myself from childhood and I continue to write daily with passion.

    Having struggled with less most of my adult life has curtailed my dream more than once.

    I'm glad Les was able to see his future blossom into greatness.

    Guest (Cynthia Purnell)October 27, 2015 at 9:01 pm

  12. I purchased the Accelerated program in 2013, started it twice and then shelved it. A month ago when I fell down a flight of stairs I came away with a broken right wrist. Right-hand dominant, I'm off on sick leave. I see this accident as a lesson to complete this course, so I can establish myself. I've taught myself how to print with my left hand using rote and taking notes as I go through this course. I understand it better and look forward to submitting my first exercise again! Thank you!

    Evelyn MOctober 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm

  13. i am working towards the strict schedule.
    For Me, not having one means I will not actualize the Writer's Life and I think About writing all day long. I should Actually start writing any day now.
    I need the accountability of COS and I'm currently trying to figure out How I'll come up with the Down payment.
    I'm looking towards the time when I can Make back the cost of COS in one month.
    And I'm extremely grateful to AWAI for providing these materials, training and tremendous opportunity.

    Guest (Robin Shelton )October 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

  14. Here is the line from Les' Journey that caught my attention:
    "COS is education.
    It’s motivation.
    It keeps you on track." Writing to you from 'Camp Hesitation', Anita

    Anita in CAOctober 28, 2015 at 2:18 pm

  15. I will be very upfront and truthful as I know to be. A lot of opportunities that presents themselves to me kind of dies at the waist side. I don't pursue them out of laziness, failure to investigate any honest means of producing success on any level. Always have been my downfall and I understand this since I'm really tired of this effect in my life. I see that copywriting has been dropped in my lap for a reason. It might be the last shot I can do any meaningful thing with my life. I intend to make the effort to succeed.

    Michael 022062October 28, 2015 at 7:05 pm

  16. I have to say this really spoke to me. So many of us know what we WANT to do in life but are too afraid to attempt to get there in fear of failure. That is a sickness in itself. I graduated college last year with a major in English (concentration in Professional Writing) and I purchased the Accelerated Program last year. I was going strong until I hit a snag and then stopped for months. But now I am back on it. "Follow your dream. Don't wait. Don't hesitate. Hesitation can cost you your dream."

    Guest (Wanjiku)October 29, 2015 at 4:05 am

  17. Trained as an architect whose drawings are second to none, I'm pardonably proud to tackle copywriting as if to prove that a mere "thousand words" is far too few for each picture to speak. Because the art of the copywriter is to speak exponentially far less. And so the doodles in a sketchbook and copy in an ad are, like Newton's gravity, two bodies whose attractions are inversely squared by the distance between them. One, the staying power -- like a vanishing point -- to the other's horizon-expanding perspective.

    Guest (Chris Morris)October 29, 2015 at 11:05 am

  18. Like Les, I picked up the Accelerated Copywriting course several years ago. I was married, working 60 hour weeks, trying to raise 4 daughters. I put it aside.

    Several years later, I am into the course and excited about where I'm going. It couldn't be easier to get started! It's all right there on-line. No more stuffing paper into binders... Audio samples of the pros!

    I'm excited to see where this all takes me.

    Guest (Paul J Vigeant Jr)November 14, 2015 at 3:36 pm

  19. I bought the Accelerated course. I worked on it almost everyday. I got stuck and needed to ask a question. I e-mailed and asked but never got an answer. I have been waiting for 2 months but no answer. There is no one to help when taking this course. I really need to work at home and this seemed the answer but maybe not because someone needs to answer our questions.

    Guest (Teresa T)December 3, 2015 at 8:28 am


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