Copywriting and the Muse
Post by Michael Wehunt
I enjoy my job. I am able to find ways to engage myself while writing copy for my 150th personal injury law firm website here at YP, and I believe that the fine line between familiarity and freshness is the key to job fulfillment.
This is not to say I am able to drain the proverbial creative engine between the hours of 8:00 and 5:00. I have the need to create for myself. And I don’t think it would go over very well if I wrote fiction for the content of Premium YP websites. So how do we satisfy our creative urges outside of work?
I have a couple of outlets, myself. I’m a published fiction author working his way up to an established name and reputation. I’ve sold a good number of short stories in the two-plus years I’ve been following the old pipe dream. Soon I will be settled enough in said reputation to begin my first novel in earnest. I have a blog that features information about all my stories that various literary magazines and anthologies have published and where they can be purchased or read for free online. I was recently approached by an author whose work I admire to contribute a new piece to a private-invitation-only anthology he is editing. So the reasons for me to write are many, and the money’s nice, but really the stories themselves are their own reward.
I also dabble in art writing as a freelancer. Strictly part-time work I can take care of on weekends. I have a fondness for modern sculpture, although I am by no means an expert in the field. But I thought I could use this medium for some more impassioned, artistic, and “flowery” prose. My most regular client is a well-known sculptor named Richard Erdman, who is based out of Vermont. I write his press releases, advertisement copy, letters to galleries, blurbs, and so forth. The first thing I wrote for him ended up being the introduction of his latest book, and it’s been reprinted here.
For years I was too nervous or fearful of rejection to seek out these outlets and opportunities, particularly in the world of fiction writing. Even the most successful authors start off hearing the word “no” the vast majority of the time. My point is that if you’ve been drawn to your job through a desire to create, there are many ways to feed your muse besides website building and content. Ways that are more personal and self-controlled. A simple and free blog where you can share your passions or hobbies is a great outlet. If you’re a designer who enjoys graphic design, try your hand at some creative projects. If you’re a sales rep by day, show the world your hidden artistic desires. Photography is another way to create art on the fly, and with the quality of cameras these days, you really only need to have your cell phone on you to capture that interesting scene.