Fortnightly update 90
22.05.2023 to 04.06.2023
My journey as a copywriter and fiction writer.
This fortnight was a busy one, and they’re only getting busier, so I’m working hard to streamline my life. As such, after 3.452 years, this will be my last fortnightly update. Going forward, I’m gonna do things a little differently.
In terms of my copywriting, I really put myself out there this fortnight. While I spent most of my time grinding away at projects, tinkering with my website, and moving my CRM and entire life to Trello, I stepped out of my comfort zone multiple times, and I feel stronger for it.
Presentation at District 32
Public speaking has long been a bane of my existence, but if you’ve been following these updates or know me at all, you’ll know that performing my flash fiction at Once Upon a Time in Fremantle has toughened me to getting on stage and saying things in front of a crowd.
This absolutely came into play on the 24th of May, when I gave a presentation on the compatibility of fiction and copywriting to the Fremantle circle of District 32, my networking group.
In this 10-minute pres, I discussed how my 7 years of writing fiction (and other nerdy shit) have given me a leg up in the world of copywriting.
Notably, I talked about:
- the power of storytelling in copywriting
- the similarity of the PAS formula and the three-act structure
- how you can use the AIDA formula to write a killer story intro
- the similarity of ideal customer profiles and character bios
- the importance of specificity and concision in both writing forms
- and how emotion is at the core of both fiction and copy
More than the content, though, I was happy with my performance, and the District 32 peeps responded favourably. One new friend of mine, Sonja, even stood as she applauded me at the end. That sure felt good.
The Write Shift
I love what Tim’s doing with this podcast, and he’s a fantastic host. Hopefully he found a few nuggets of gold in my scattered ramblings.
Here’s the episode:
Business development with Nic Hind
Last Wednesday I got on the train and met my new District 32 ally Nic Hind in Claisebrook for a full day of business development.
Basically, he’s setting up a new offer and wanted to test it on me. As a bonus, I’d get to understand my business better and strengthen the hell out of it. Which I did.
Nic uses the Book Yourself Solid business building system created by Michael Port. It’s powerful as fuck.
I’ve still got a lot to implement, but everything is far more clear now.
Because this is my last fortnightly update, at least in this blog format, I feel I should say something about my fiction.
In essence, it has stopped.
Even just a year ago, the idea of putting my fiction writing aside for copywriting would have been blasphemy. Back then, copywriting was a way to support what I believed to be my true career: writing weird stories. But we change.
Juggling the two was painful. I did it for a little under 4 years, and throughout that time, the pain only grew — until it reached a tipping point.
I think the pain largely stemmed from my inability to extricate the two activities. Both involved me sitting in front of a computer, straining my eyes and fingers and back, writing all day, almost every day — but only one paid the bills. This confused me, as I’d feel a sense of satisfaction for having worked on a fiction piece, but there’d be no monetary reward associated with it (or merely a token sum).
Even in terms of recognition I felt starved. I very much associated my success in fiction with the quantity and quality of my publications. Plus, I could not help but compare myself to others — authors who submitted hundreds, if not thousands, of stories per year and had a great many of them published. My sense of self-worth got tangled up in this, and in December 2022, one particularly big “close but no cigar” with a highly prestigious speculative fiction magazine quite frankly destroyed me.
That was said tipping point. It was the first time that “quitting” entered my mind.
Thankfully, I realised that I needn’t be so absolute. I do not think that I’ve quit writing fiction, but my suffering did help me get my priorities in line.
At the end of the day, I needed to make a living, and I could do that far more sustainably through copywriting.
Over the last 6 months, my fiction writing has faded more and more into the background. And I think the biggest reason for this is that I’m now getting my creative satisfaction through copywiriting.
I’ll tinker with an old story and resubmit it every now and then, occasionally read stories for Etherea Magazine, occasionally perform a story at Clancy’s, occasionally go to a writers’ group. But yes indeed, that part of my life has largely come to an end.
Who knows what I’ll be doing in 5, 10, or 50 years from now?
However, if I do get back to writing fiction with any sort of intent, I’ll know how to handle it better. For one, I won’t write with publication as my primary goal; it should instead be to have fun. And I’ll also accept that everyone’s journey is different; comparing myself to others is a direct flight to misery.
With all that said, I’m no less nerdy. In fact, I’m enjoying reading books, watching movies, and playing games a whole lot more since I’ve put my fiction in the bottom drawer.
Alright, so why did I start doing these fortnightly updates, and why is this the last one?
To answer that first bit, a throwback to my very first fortnightly update, from December 2019:
“While I’ve kept a crude text file diary for a few years now, I’m now going to summarise the happenings of my life in fortnightly blog posts like this one and share them to both Facebook and LinkedIn . This will allow me to be consistent with how I share my progress as a writer, while also improving my reflection process.”
And you know what? That’s exactly what I did, and it did indeed improve the hell out of my reflection process.
A lot has changed since that first post — I mean, fuck Facebook — but the overall purpose remains the same to this day. These updates were always more for me. They were my diary.
But now the way I reflect on my career and life has changed. Early morning “brain dumps,” afternoon reflections, and regular LinkedIn posts have proven more effective and efficient. Since I started committing to these things, I’ve felt less and less inspired to write my fortnightly updates because I’ve often already reflected on the things I’m covering in the updates.
Plus, I’m now looking to build a mailing list and do some sort of email marketing — possibly a newsletter — and I’d likely use the time I used to spend writing these fortnightly updates on emails instead.
As for my blog, I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. Maybe I’ll repurpose my emails into blog posts. Maybe I’ll write more informative blog posts, with SEO in mind. We’ll see.
If you’ve read any of my fortnightly updates or followed my journey in any way, you’re a star and I love you.
Going forward, at least until I’ve got my email shit on track, LinkedIn is probably the best place to stay in touch.
As always, thanks for reading 🖤