Or so I thought. Until the hugsband badgered me into writing “copy” for a personal project we have taken on, that I have been far too lazy about getting kick-started. And suddenly I found myself tripping over my words, struggling to find a voice, and — worst of all — asking him to brief me right, so I knew what I was aiming for.
Six years is a long time. It is 1/5th my life, expended in the pursuit of a profession in copywriting. Surely it must count for something? Why is it then, that just six months since I gave it all up, do I find myself so lost, like a fresher all over again?
I always thought writing, any kind, was like putting on a my favourite pair of shoes. I slip them on, get in my comfort zone and I’m good to go. But maybe six years of trying to do that on the wrong path has left me wounded. And just six months of not doing it is enough to have it leave your system like an old pair you shed, never to look back on them again.
Writing is like swimming, or driving, or breathing. I don’t think I could ever forget how it’s done. Not just that, its something I cannot do without. But I find that I take time to wrap my head around certain kinds of writing. Sometimes I find some kinds of writing are easier than others. But of all the many kinds of writing I have indulged in, isn’t it odd that the one thing I have done for the longest, was the quickest to be forgotten?
Today, the old ghosts of wireframes, first drafts, website jargon, and the dreaded passive voice of marketing communication returned. And not in the comforting way like when familiarity sweeps over you and makes you feel right back at home, but in a way that scared the bejesus out of me. Reminding me of traumatic days when I just couldn’t “crack a brief”, or “find the punch” or the worst of them all, “write a powerful headline”.
I realised that copywriting is just plain impossible to do, now.
“Write it like you would in a blog post”, he said to me. And just like that the words began to flow again.