“A passion without a plan is a hobby.” I stumbled on this quote somewhere on the Internet and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It became a compelling truth once I decided to give my passion a chance. How could I make it work? I needed a plan.
I knew I wanted to write, but to write what? For whom? And how? I could only think of traditional writing jobs such as journalistic or editorial roles, but they did not resonate with me. I was looking for something else…
Just typing search phrases such as “how to make a living as a writer”, “freelance writing”, and “writing jobs” opened up an entire new world before my eyes. This is how I got to know what copywriting was and how I could fit in.
1.5 Make a move
It may sound silly, but it’s worth mentioning. Sitting and waiting for dreams to materialise doesn’t work. Have you ever wondered why “dreams come true” but “goals are achieved”? The difference between a dream and an objective is action. And action requires an active subject. I was that subject. So I forced myself to make a move: stop procrastinating, discard vague “maybe-one-day” desires, and actually do something.
In my case, my first step towards my dream-life was to enrol in a copywriting course. Needless to say, this is a very personal decision. “Taking action” as such doesn’t necessarily require an investment or a purchase. Thing is, any move that helps you to step out of your comfort zone is worth trying. It will trigger a chain of events that may (or may not) lead you where you planned to go – or in a totally different direction. Either way, you will learn something. So follow the world’s most famous recommendation and just do it.
2. Study the craft
High quality performances cannot be faked. And if you want high quality performances, you need to work hard. This has been my mantra throughout my life. I want to be good at what I do. For this reason, I got back to study. I mean, study hard.
As said, I enrolled in a tutored course that taught me the basics and made me struggle with my limited copywriting skills for three full months. The web is full of valuable information about copywriting and marketing, but – as a beginner – I needed a study plan and someone ready to check my work and correct my mistakes.
The deeper you dig into a subject, the more you realise that you have just hit the tip of the iceberg. Almost halfway through my copywriting course, I entered the magic world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). The acronym was becoming recurrent through my study material and I wanted to know more. I launched a simple search and browsing here and there I landed on a SEO course available for free. I rescheduled my agenda to accommodate for an additional subject and got on board. Online search will no longer be the same.
I’ve never written so much, or submitted so many assignments, or tested my creativity for so long. But there is no other way: practice practice practice. Learning is useless unless you actually make use of the skills you acquire. Period.
3. Continue learning
The world changes and does it faster than ever. Keeping up means “continuing education” as many university departments title nowadays. Luckily enough, offline and online sources are countless and their content gets richer and richer. How was it? Stay hungry…
So here I was at the end of my training period: equipped, full of enthusiasm, and ready to go. I just didn’t know where.