My name’s Sean. I’m 23. And I’ve just spent the last month with Writers in their Bristol HQ doing work experience. I’ve had a great time, but there are a few things I’d like to say about it.
I’m a Creative Writing graduate, and for a while I thought I was going to become a great novelist. I’m not entirely sure what happened with that, but I guess I can summarise by saying I became too serious and consequently burned out. Which is a bit ironic considering I’m only 23.
I also tried my hand at journalism, working for a newspaper in Mexico. This was an incredible experience, and I got to cover some unbelievable international events. But for someone who gets nervous just asking for the bill, I realised I was too shy for journalism, or at least reporting. So, I was getting a bit worried about the future.
Then I came across a book called Brilliant Copywriting, by Roger Horberry, and got pretty excited. Here was a stable career that had writing at its core, with a chance to be creative. So, I did what most people do – Googled – and up popped Writers. I emailed to see if I could do a week’s work experience. “Yes”, they said, “but a week’s not very long, why not make it two?”.
During my time here, I’ve learned a lot about copywriting and writing in general. And one thing is not to be precious about my drafts. I’ve given them work I thought was spot on, then got it back covered in red pen. They were very nice about it though – ‘ruthless kindness’ is one way to describe it. The thing is, I agreed completely with every one of their comments. That’s what they can do for you when they look at your copy. I didn’t think I’d be making much of a contribution, and that I’d just be getting in their way, but that’s not the case at all.
So what have I done? Well, I’ve helped out on drafts for Writers’ oldest newest client, Westminster Abbey (established 960AD). I’ve contributed to a top secret campaign for one of the world’s leading bourbon brands. And I’ve had a go at writing web pages for a household name in skincare (Mum’s also the word). Plus, I’ve gained experience writing for Body Chef and Howdens Joinery. It feels great knowing I’ve given them something back for having me around. They even asked me to stay on for another two weeks. I could not have asked for more.
Seeing as I’ve decided to go ahead with copywriting now, I feel a lot better about the future. And speaking of the future, I’m always going to remember my first taste of the commercial writer’s life with Writers. I’m very, very grateful for the start I’ve been given, and for everything I’ve learned.