Copywriting is the Ultimate Way to Live the Writer’s Life
“Can someone like me really live the writer’s life?”
“I know others are doing it. But how long is it going to take me?”
“And how does AWAI help us succeed?”
Katie Yeakle here. As AWAI’s Executive Director, these are questions I’ve heard a lot over the last 19 years.
Since this is the start of the New Year, I thought this would be a great time to publically answer all your most pressing questions in this weeks The Writer’s Life.
In today’s issue, I’m going to start with the most basic question of all:
Why, of all the opportunities for writers to make money, should I consider copywriting?
The answer is simple: Copywriting is the single most liberating way to make a living — or supplement your regular income — or transition from your present job to a new career or early, financially-secure semi-retirement. There are so many benefits to becoming a copywriter. Just look …
- Copywriting Benefit #1: Your time is your own. No time clock, no set hours.
- Copywriting Benefit #2: Your office can be anywhere you like — the porch of a beach house or mountain cabin, in your RV, even the corner table at your favorite Starbucks.
Copywriting Benefit #3: Your income can be good from the start, and keep getting better. Imagine being paid $500, $750, $1,000 and more for writing simple, short, “friendly” letters about products, services, or subjects that interest you. That is as real as the ground beneath you.
Imagine earning more part-time in a month or two than your present job pays all year. That, too, is very real, as you’ll soon see. There are other financial benefits and “perks” too. For example, the government rewards you with tax breaks — even government-subsidized vacations.
- Copywriting Benefit #4: You’ll be engaged in fun, fascinating, creative activity all about ideas … telling interesting stories … helping businesses communicate and put their ideas across. If you find your present way of “putting food on the table” dull or uninteresting, that can change right now. I’ve never heard a freelance writer complain of being bored!
- Copywriting Benefit #5: You can create real financial security – the only real security, your personal ability to produce “work” that there is always an endless, expanding demand for. Never worry about looming layoffs again. Escape dependence on one employer, diversify your income with a number of clients, own skills in demand by many (both here and abroad). If you have a computer connected to the Internet, there are no boundaries and you can write for clients anywhere in the world. The demand for what American Writers & Artists members do is global and local, strong in “good” or “bad” times; a reliable profession.
- Copywriting Benefit #6: You’ll be part of an elite, unusual society. Most successful writers are made not born, yet we are a special breed, mysterious to and admired by “civilians,” and embraced by each other. The bond that writers have with each other is like nothing that occurs in any other field. (One of the many benefits of membership with AWAI is this unique community. We connect you with other AWAI members and support the ongoing community online and at conferences.)
- Copywriting Benefit #7: If you choose, you can use the skills you develop to help your favorite causes, charities, even individuals in need, and do good for the world. Non-profit organizations of every size and nature hire and pay freelance writers and copywriters. You can also donate your professional services as “in kind contributions” for tax deductions. Every group from the local animal rescue shelter to Greenpeace needs help raising funds and communicating with donors, and communicating their message to the world at large.
- Copywriting Benefit #8: You will have proven pathways to follow when you begin, with AWAI as your “mentor.” If living the writer’s life appeals to you, know that as you seek this exciting life as your own, we will be by your side every step of the way! And AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting is where it all begins.
And last but not least, you’ll be in good company.
Here’s a partial list of people you’ll recognize who worked as copywriters before achieving fame outside the DM world. One name that’s missing … Ben Franklin. Old Ben started the first mail order catalog in 1770.
- James Patterson, author
- Sherwood Anderson, author
- Augusten Burroughs, author
- Helen Gurley Brown, former publisher and editor (Cosmopolitan)
- Peter Carey, author
- Gary Comer, founder of Lands' End
- Bryce Courtenay, Australian author
- Don DeLillo, author
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, author
- Terry Gilliam, director and animator
- Alec Guinness, actor
- Dashiell Hammett, author
- Hugh Hefner, publisher (Playboy)
- Joseph Heller, author
- Russell Hoban, author
- Tim Kazurinsky, comedian
- Rick Moranis, actor
- Ogden Nash, poet
- Bob Newhart, comedian and actor
- Alan Parker, director
- Steven Pressfield, author
- Franc Roddam, director
- Indra Sinha, translator and novelist
- Salman Rushdie, author
- Dorothy L. Sayers, author
- Fay Weldon, author
- Thom Jones, author
That’s great for them … but I know what you are thinking, can someone like me REALLY do this?
It’s important to know that successful AWAI members have had many different starting points. Unemployed for eight months and terrified. Stuck in depressing, dead-end jobs. In jobs they like, but can’t earn enough money from to meet their needs. 20 years old, 75 years old. Already confident of writing talent — others, doubtful they can write anything worthy of payment. Silver-tongued salesmen, small town schoolteachers, shy homemakers suddenly having to re-enter the work world after traumatic divorces.
You name a beginning, any beginning, and I can introduce you to an AWAI member with a similar starting place, now earning excellent income, feeling secure, doing work that is interesting to them, leading a fulfilling life … and thanking copywriting for it all!
By choosing copywriting as your writing career, you’ll instantly be part of and embraced by this entire community, too. You see, copywriters like to share information and help each other succeed. That’s one of the nicest things of all about choosing to be a copywriter … you’ll have plenty of help along the way.
You’ll be assisted not just by our Board of Advisors but by successful members who generously share their experience, who appreciate having had a helping hand extended to them and now extend theirs in turn. You’ll be mentored, coached, encouraged, and supported day by day, as you first explore, then find your way to the writer’s life just right for you.
I’d love to hear what the writer’s life means to you. Let me know in the comment section below.
More questions answered tomorrow!