April 19, 2015Don’t become a freelance copywriter
“Give up. You’ll never make it.”
That was the advice offered to me a decade ago, on the first day of my creative writing MA. Actually, it was the advice offered to the entire class.
And while a couple of my classmates did, eventually, have books published, they didn’t make any money out of them, let alone become household names.
These days, I sometimes check my inbox to find an email from a well meaning student or first year copywriter asking me to tell them how to crack the business.
Well, I don’t want to put you off, but ‘give …
October 12, 2014Why I’m making music again
OK, there’s actually few good reasons why I’ve started making music (after taking a five year break).
Firstly, I spent way too much money over the summer (doesn’t everyone?). Staying at home and writing tunes keeps the bank balance in the black.
Secondly, I’ve seen some pretty inspiring stuff lately, from the new Nick Cave movie to the excellent Fort Process festival on the south coast, a day filled with experimental art and sound and noise.
But the real reason? Because I’m terrible at it.
And no, I’m not particularly trying to get better, either (although you’d hope that the …
August 25, 2014Fail harder. Never be afraid of failure.
When you’re young, summer is supposed to be fun. But somehow between adolescence and adulthood it turns into a time of terror — the time of dreaded exam results that supposedly determine the rest of your life.
If you’re a teenager and you’re reading this, stop right now and pay attention to these words: your exam results do not define you. What you get, ultimately, doesn’t matter.
In ten years time, you won’t even remember.
You won’t remember 90% of what you learned in school. And 99% of it you’ll never use.
The only time anyone ever asked what I …
June 28, 2014And now a word from our sponsors
I will admit it. I am one of life’s moaners. Partly, it comes from being an obsessive perfectionist. I will get upset if a comma is out of place, I will be unhappy if a concept isn’t executed exactly as I planned it. When it comes to my work, I’ve always insisted on perfection.
But perfection isn’t always possible. And so I’ve developed a reputation at the places I’ve worked as someone who’s never quite happy. There’s a certain value in being an obsessive perfectionist, but I’ve started to think it’s led to people thinking I’m never satisfied, never happy …
December 26, 2013The books I’ve read this yearMy year in books: what does a copywriter read? As the year draws to a close, I thought I'd take a look at my bookshelf and, for the first time ever, analyse what I've been reading and why.
May 16, 2013Why I’ve started talking bollocksRecently, a friend of mine told me about his new favourite pastime: endorsing people for skills they don't have on LinkedIn. So I decided to take it one step further and add a skill everyone could endorse me for... I decided to tell everyone I was good at talking bollocks. Here's why.
April 2, 2013Freelance freedom — is it a myth?People say freelancers have a better life because they get to be their own boss, but they're wrong -- when you're a freelancer, you have a hundred bosses. What happens when they all want their work done at the same time?
December 19, 2012NDA not OK:
I've worked for some of the world's biggest brands. But shhh, I'm not allowed to tell you. I'm under an NDA. Trouble is, I've started realising that money is no substitute for being able to display your work. Signing an NDA can seriously damage your career's health.
Are NDAs harming your freelance reputation?
November 22, 2012I’ve been interviewed by All Good CopyI never planned on becoming a copywriter. It just sort of happened. Five years later, here I am. Find out how it all started, who I'm influenced by, and what advice I'd give to novice copywriters by reading this awesome interview with All Good Copy, here.
July 20, 2012I don’t give out free samples — here’s why.Free samples are for supermarkets. When a client asks me for sample work before signing a contract, I have to decline. It's lost me a couple of jobs recently, and I'm seeing the request pop up more and more, so I decided to blog about it and explain my reasons why.