What Can You Learn about Achieving The Writer's Life from a Man Who Jumps Off Cliffs?

Will Newman

Back in 2011, I attended my sixth Bootcamp. Although I hadn’t told my AWAI friends at that time, I was seriously considering retiring from copywriting.

But one presentation at Bootcamp changed my mind.

Let me explain …

Over the year preceding that Bootcamp, I’d been playing with the idea of retiring from copywriting. If I did, I’d probably keep working with AWAI as their Master COS Instructor. At least for a while.

But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep on with the actual writing. After all, at 63, I felt it might be time to hang up the gloves. (As they say in the boxing game.) I hadn’t told anyone about my quandary, not even my wife Linda.

Then came Bootcamp, and Nick Usborne’s presentation “Push, Pull, & Engage.”

Nick always gives exceptional presentations, and this one was as good as any. But, the copywriting content wasn’t what convinced me to keep writing.

As good as it was, its impact on me paled in comparison with the first 10 minutes when Nick showed a video clip of base jumper Jeb Corliss.

I’m going to give you a YouTube hyperlink here. I recommend you take a break from reading and view the short video. (I never tell people to leave an article. Except this one time. It’s that important.)

Stop the video at 2 minutes and 57 seconds. Look at the image, and then come back and continue reading.

Click here. (Don’t forget to come back!)

If you held your breath during much of Jeb Corliss’s flight, you’re in good company.

The look on Jeb’s face at 2:57 expresses Nick’s purpose in showing the video.

Joy. Utter and complete ecstasy …

Jeb Corliss knows the dangers of base jumping. He tells others that standing on the edge, waiting to push off, is a moment of sheer terror. But that 2:57 moment makes it all worth the fear, sweat, and terror.

That look reminded me of my 2:57 moments: the feeling of accomplishment when I’ve finished writing. But it had been largely missing. That’s why I mulled over retiring.

Thank heavens I went to Bootcamp that year. Nick Usborne — with Jeb Corliss’s help — reminded me of that joy and the last time I really felt it when finishing an assignment. It was when I finished writing my first fundraising appeal.

I’d been telling myself that I wanted to move from alternative health to fundraising for several years. But it was easier sticking with something I knew and settled into than branching out.

No more. I decided to pursue my own 2:57 moment. Instead of quietly slipping into retirement, I became a fundraising copywriter.

This article may seem like it’s about me. It isn’t. It’s about you.

What’s your 2:57 moment?

What niche in copywriting makes your pulse quicken and your face uncontrollably break into a smile?

You know what it is. You can feel it. Whatever it is. That’s the niche you should be writing in. That’s your 2:57 moment.

Find it. Trust it. Follow it!

What has been your 2:57 moment? Please tell us by commenting below.

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Published: August 31, 2016

12 Responses to “What Can You Learn about Achieving The Writer's Life from a Man Who Jumps Off Cliffs?”

  1. Great analogy, Will. I enjoyed reading and viewing. Congratulations on your transition into fundraising.

    Guest (Marc Leek)August 31, 2016 at 1:31 pm

  2. I love the 2:57 moment! I think we should have t-shirts at Boot Camp with 2:57 and a big smile on the front!
    My 2:57 moment was when I knew I wanted to write about health and fitness for adults 55+. It is my niche and makes me happy to help people stay healthy as they get older.

    Julie LAugust 31, 2016 at 1:38 pm

  3. I am banging my head against the wall trying to find my 2:57 niche!!! I know it's in there and I am hoping to find it before I attend boot camp. Maybe, like you, I will find it there. Thanks for the inspiration. Been studying by myself for almost a year now here in Boise Idaho. I sometimes feel like I am on an island. The ongoing encouragement helps a lot. Logged too many miles to chuck it now.... Thanks, KJ

    Guest (KJ Stanton)August 31, 2016 at 3:27 pm

  4. Dear Mr Will Newman,

    My 2:57 will be the moment i am going to introduce my super technology of strong magnetic engine.This engine can be put relative to its size and strength to every car and vehicle.The sun will cover our need of energy.You never will pay a single dollar for fuel.This engine is strong enough to propel a 100000 kg heavy weight with a velocity of 120 Mile per hour.
    This super technology is still top-secret.

    Yours for the best and lovely future of USA,

    Ali Rely.

    Guest (ali rely)August 31, 2016 at 4:28 pm

  5. Will, I don't think I have a "2:57 moment" niche just yet. I'm enjoying the challenge of the alternative health market, but I can't say it's pulse-quickening. The only thing that's given me that immense feeling of satisfaction so far is blogging.....I've started a blog of my own...but I also feel it after a good COS class session, where I've written a great lead and been able to see how to help others with theirs...I'm guessing I may be one who backs into that "2:57" niche eventually....

    Joyce HAugust 31, 2016 at 7:21 pm

  6. Will, my 2:57 moments come from reading self help literature. The adrenaline really flows, and compels me strongly to get up and get doing... self belief gets taken to another level like none other...

    ...and those moments in my opinion need to be shared.

    I want to be someone who can help get that stuff into the hands of others like me, so that they too may be primed to improve their lives.

    TerenceAugust 31, 2016 at 7:37 pm

  7. WOW!!
    I just don't know what to say, but your point is well displayed, although I still have to work on finishing my course, and to see if I am able to make it as a writer I am quite eager.
    I enjoy your emails and hope you continue your journey and follow it to the end.

    Guest (Mark)August 31, 2016 at 7:44 pm

  8. My 2:57 moment writing I find with any subject.
    When I feel that what is written is what I wanted really put.
    And this time the experiment in several stages:

    First to write an article I enjoy to develop the idea with a paragraph and by enriching the initial ideas.

    Second to finalize and to deliver the text: that is the total ecstasy.

    Very good report.


    Guest (Ramiro)August 31, 2016 at 10:07 pm

  9. Like you, Will, it's fundraising for worthy causes that prompts my interest in copywriting.

    But (sort of) like you, I've had my doubts about continuing my copywriting activities, because both of my already existing professions take up most of my time, PLUS I'm extremely fortunate to have not one, but two jobs I love.

    But you're right. Writing to HELP someone (not just to serve crass profit-seeking purposes) is too important & exciting to drop.

    Thanks for the nudge in the right direction!

    Beth JonesSeptember 1, 2016 at 5:09 am

  10. My first copywriting in 30 years will be Part 1 of video series (to raise funds to complete the project) on the US Constitution. It surely will be a 2:57 moment when I upload it!

    John Chambers OregonSeptember 1, 2016 at 3:11 pm

  11. Nutrition & Movement

    Guest (Jess)September 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm

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