Tag Archives: copywriting

Sometimes it’s the little things


The following is a revised version of an original story written by me in January 2008. It’s well worth retelling.

I had none...until...

You never know where you’ll get your inspiration, your motivation, your drive to move forward in this world.

To illustrate, I have a twin sister named June. She’s actually the better of me. I often think of us as Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzeneggar in Twins. Like the part in the movie where the evil scientist is explaining how this fascinating plan went awry. He says they took all the best components and mixed them up in some sort of test tube.

As he looks at Schwarzeneggar, he says (I’m paraphrasing here): ‘All the good stuff went into what stands before you.’ Then he turns to DeVito and says, ‘All the crap left over is what you see in the mirror every day.’

i'm the short one

Between June and me, I’m the crap. But don’t feel sorry for me. Quite frankly, I’m okay with it. I’ve made peace with crap, and crap and I get along just swell.

My twin sister’s beautiful, highly intelligent—just like Arnold, she has all the good qualities of the ‘stuff’ that made us. So her response to one of my stories was met with great delight. It was truly what I needed to move forward in my writing career.

To set the stage, I was sitting at my desk at the ad agency NOT writing, but rather, answering phones and setting meeting schedules—my usual routine even after five years. How did it come to this? I’d even taken two copywriting courses to prove to myself and anyone else who cared that I had a real passion and devotion to the art of writing.

I’d get frustrated in my endless pursuit to do more, be more, and then vent to June. She always responded in kind. “You should really start writing seriously. You’re good at it.” Or, “Juice (her nickname for me), your writing’s da’ bomb. You need to do more.”

That’s just June. Always kind and encouraging. Always the rock. I’d listen to her suggestion…and then go back to work and answer calls.

Of course, all the self-improving techniques, all the writing courses I’d taken made no difference whatsoever to my very intelligent but equally stubborn boss, who believed my only purpose in this world was to answer phones and to care for his schedule. (But we’ll save that for a future, Can You Believe My Life? article.)

Anyway, I’d been struggling with how to make a smooth transition from working full-time at the agency to writing from home full-time. This particular morning was no different.

I just had my article, Outside My Window, published on another Web site. I sent it out to several friends and family members to view, but hadn’t really expected to hear from anyone. Several hours later my phone rings at the front desk. I answer it and hear a stern and familiar voice:

“Get up right now! Get up, get your things and walk out that door and never look back! He [my boss] does NOT appreciate your talent! You are wasting your time at that place! You should NOT be sitting at that front desk …”

I was taken aback. In fact, it took me quite some time to recognize the caller and what she was referring to. I knew that voice, but the ranting and raving was unfamiliar territory.

It was June.

She’d just finished reading my article and felt the need to call me with a “Come to Reality” good talking-to! It worked. After remarkably putting things into perspective for me, on that day and in that very hour I knew it was time for me to take my writing much more seriously, because when June—one of the most intelligent, analytical and reasonable persons I’d ever known—tells you to jump ship, your only response should be, “On which side of the boat?”


I worked vigorously for months to get something suitable to, at least, keep me in the lap of luxury in my extremely small efficiency apartment where I reside (heat included). As it turns out, I now have a national client in the health care industry who actually matched my salary from the agency. On the 28th of December, 2007, I resigned from my full-time position and am now writing full-time from my home office. At the time my “home office” was a four by five extension of the bedroom/kitchen area. Small steps indeed.

Point is, today I have a hopeful outlook for my professional career, and I have June. That’s my girl. She doesn’t say much, but when she does she packs a wallop.

If not for June, I’d likely still be sitting at that same desk, answering that same phone, making those same reservations for that same man. No doubt I’d still be depressed and wondering ‘How my life came to this.’

don't remind me...

It wasn’t some grandiose speech from a soapbox, just a simple, “if-you-don’t-get-off-your-butt-and-do-something-with-your-talent” call that pointed me in the right direction. A simple phone call made all the difference.

Indeed, sometimes it’s the little things.

Writing is Cool, Therapeutic…and most of all Profitable



I try to encourage all my friends, peers, colleagues – what have you – to write. Not simply because it’s a cool thing to do, but because everyone’s struggling in today’s economy. Everyone. And while everyone’s looking under the mattress for folded bills and tossing the sofa cushions aside while scrounging for loose change, money is just WAITING to be made – through writing.

Now right about now you’re thinking, “I’m not a good writer,” or “I don’t have anything to write about,” which is the usual response. It’s the WRONG response, but nonetheless the usual one. I can make this claim because I’m living proof that writing for profit is absolutely possible. Thanks, in large part, to the Internet.

Yes, the Internet has opened all kinds of doors for writers, psuedo-writers, wannabe-writers and all those in-between. And while a college education can certainly help you get your foot in the door, the Internet has allowed lots of closet-writers to break free of the “degree” discrimination. You know what I’m talking about: “I’m sorry, but you don’t have a college degree.” Yes, THAT degree discrimination.

The various sites open to hiring freelance writers in diverse fields (including copywriting, article writing, creative writing, blogging, and much more) are just itching to find a fresh voice, that new pitch. Editors from all countries, representing various niches are in desperate search of … well, YOU! And the beauty of the program is this: it doesn’t cost you a dime to simply try it. Imagine that! A new outlook on life, a new approach to a whole new exciting field, new possibilities can be on the horizon for you – and for free.

I’ve been treading out here in the freelance pool since January 2008, and I gotta tell ya’: I’m not going back. The view is awesome and the water is just fine. What’s more…I can actually LIVE on a day-to-day basis, not merely three or four hours after a hard day’s work, before my head crashes onto my pillow.

Admittedly, the writer’s life isn’t for everyone, but IF you’re tired of the day-to-day struggle, IF you’re looking for something a little different, IF you’re open to learning a new way of living, IF you’re wondering how to pay those bills, and IF you can’t quite see yourself asking, “Would you like fries with that?” watch for my followup blog, Becoming a Writer: How to Get Started, within the next few days.

It just might be what you’ve been searching for.

Judith Brown is a freelance writer from Harrisburg, PA, where she writes for the health care, travel and entertainment industries. With more than six years in advertising, Ms. Brown also serves as a marketing and training consultant to small business industries.