So, of late I have been working on a freelance copywriting project. I cannot share too many details due to basic confidentiality issues, but what’s pertinent to this post is that this writing project has literally been consuming my life for over a week now.
Let me take a step back. I really enjoy writing and editing. I do it all the time, whether I’m getting paid for it or not. So, not long ago, I decided I’d start making steps in my personal development towards writing more in a way that might actually be lucrative (which, in turn, would provoke me to continue writing through the money factor) or at least more personally pleasing. So, I started my own website. I agreed to blog weekly (thank you PGT). And I got in touch with various people I know and have professional contacts with to see about gaining some unpaid writing experience to build a professional portfolio.
I have been fortunate – a couple people actually got back to me and I’ve re-written an entire website’s worth of material for one person, took a stab at some basic copy on another page, and then was given this current project a little over a week ago.
Which brings me to the present. Essentially, I have over 100 *things* to write about, each is similar, but also different. Each requires unique copy but relate back to the basic product being sold. Over 100. And I’ve completed about 70 so far (bear in mind each takes between 15 and 35 minutes to research and write).
The problem is not that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing – I have been having a blast. It’s not even that I’m running out of ways to say things – I think that for the most part I’m still producing original approaches to each.
No, the issue I’m having is one of confidence in myself and my where my writing is at. As I’ve moved further and further into this project, I’ve been pushing to get quicker and quicker (to meet my deadline of the end of this week), while still keeping it creative. The problem is, it’s difficult, when I’m cranking along, to step back as look at what I’ve written to say “oh, that’s good” or “oh, that’s definitely not.” And, as I’ve done more and more of these things, I’m starting to be concerned that either my creativity will suffer, or repetition will occur (neither of which is wanted). Couple this with the fact that this is the first major project I’ve been given by this particular contact (and I’d really like to impress so that more come my way), and I’ve seen myself go from boldly writing where I’ve never written before to just about mildly nervous when I turn in chunks of what I’ve done.
So, have I hit a roadblock? Or is it more of a plateau, where I have a finite quantity of creativity and I have realized it subconsciously and am now retreating from the idea of writing (a profession reliant on limitless creativity)? Or is it just a mountain, where climbing long enough and pushing hard enough, I will eventually reach a point where it gets a bit smoother and efforts are less strenuous.
I do know that writing well, even for those who enjoy it, is a skill that takes fine-tuning and a ton of effort. Write, write, and write more, is the best way, most writers say, to get better. My question (and it’s not really answerable, but perspective would be helpful) is, what sort of hold up have I hit?