It’s not easy being a freelance copywriter, especially if, like myself, you got into the copywriting game because you enjoy a quiet life, keeping your head down and seldom having to tell people what to do.
Most copywriters I know tend to spend a lot of time in their own heads: they can drift away from the here-and-now for hours at a time in their quest to create something they’re proud of.
That’s not to say I’m an introvert – I do like talking to people, and when I have something to say then I’m pretty good at conversation; what I’m terrible at is initiating a conversation.
For example, given the job of writing, say, an article, I’m happy to contact the people I need to and strike up a discussion about the subject; to ask them questions and extract all the necessary information. I actually enjoy this because I’m interested in all kinds of stuff, and because smart people who are experts in their field are almost always interesting to talk to.
There are very few genuinely boring topics of conversation.
No, my problem is more with networking – approaching complete strangers and trying to start a conversation from scratch without it sounding contrived and dishonest. Even though ninety-nine times out of a hundred they’re jolly nice people who are more than willing to chat with me… Nope. Can’t do it.
Not being a natural networker makes freelance life difficult, because I really struggle with finding the nerve to put myself out there in the market and land new work. And as much as I enjoy working by myself from home, it’s not the ideal place to make new contacts and find new work.