I decided to sign up to the College of Media and Publishing (CMP) when I received an email from them about a copywriting course. I thought Hmmmm copywriting, what’s that? I had just started the summer break of my OU degree and I was in that interim moment of panic about what on earth I would do with my time (this panic literally lasted just enough time for me to register and pay!). I did a little research about copywriting and thought it would be a great add on to my English Literature and Creative Writing degree and that maybe I could earn a little money from it too.
I registered and paid and quickly received all I needed to start the course. Two months later, I finally found the time to start the course.
I am a total beginner here, before stumbling across the course I’d never heard of Copywriting. The first thing that surprised me was the versatility of the Copywriting world, there are so many types of copy.
Looking at some of the attributes of a good copywriter listed by CMP in lesson one, I was a little concerned that not many applied to me:
- The ability to listen carefully to the client’s instructions, interpret them, and develop them.
I think I can manage that, I am a good listener but I’m not sure how well I’ll interpret and develop instructions. Something to be worked on.
- The ability to create original ideas. The advertising industry is driven by ideas, and if you can produce some good ones, you will never be short of work.
I’m not going to lie; this is probably the area that worries me the most! I’m not creative! What was I thinking when I signed up for this!
- Strong writing ability and the ability to adapt those skills for a variety of different media. Each job will be entirely different from the last one.
Work in progress! I’m writing more each day I think I’ll eventually be OK with this.
- A knack for creating rhythm when writing slogans or verse.
- Good, up-to-date general knowledge.
Not too bad, I read the news every day I’m fairly up to date.
- Attention to detail. Copy may be brilliantly written, but is no good if it is not accurate.
I think I’m OK but I’m probably not!
- Self motivation. Whether you work for yourself or for an organisation, you will still need to be able to ‘get up and go’, even when you do not feel like it. Copywriters do not have the luxury of moaning about ‘writer’s block’!
The ability to work in a team. A copywriter will often liaise with clients, artists, designers and other professionals.
No problem here either.
- The ability to work to deadlines. Brilliant copy is no use if it is late.
I can do that!
- The ability to cope with stress. The world of advertising is relentless, cut-throat and demanding.
I can manage stress.
- The ability to cope with criticism. You will get plenty of it.
No, not really! I’ll cry a lot!
So out of eleven attributes I’m confident I have five, three I can work on and three that I may never have. I’m not sure if this is going to work out or not but hopefully I can look at this list at the end of the course and be a little more confident in some areas. Hopefully my writing will improve too and my blog posts will get a little more interesting.
I’ve submitted my first assignment today!