“Are you leading the course?” a pal asked me when I was tagged on Twitter after I signed up for a ‘copywriting for journalists’ training course.
Given that that pal is in a similar line of business to me – and she does it incredibly well – I was flattered that she asked as, actually, I was simply taking part.
It was the start of the new year, I felt like I needed a kick up the proverbial, and I decided I needed to put my skills to the test. I won’t lie; it was a daunting prospect for someone who hasn’t been in the classroom for years.
In the days when I had a ‘proper’ job, you know, one of those where you go into an office, and you know exactly when your wages will be paid, training was something I did on a regular basis. Maybe it was something specific to my job, an international conference with my peers, finding a useful new practical skill, or just the fact I had to learn the company’s new IT system (cue plenty of swearing…)
But when you’re working as a freelancer, training is something you often forget.
Sometimes the memory loss can be deliberate: “Have you seen the price? Is it really worth the money? I can’t spare the time. Insert other random excuse here…”
Other times it’s just because you’re so focused on ‘doing’ the day job, you don’t think about whether you could be doing it better.
It was a Facebook ad about the training course which had caught my eye. I ignore plenty of those, but one with the word ‘copywriting’ in the same sentence as ‘journalist’ summed up my career perfectly.
So I did my research, discovered the course got great feedback from people in the industry, and I took the plunge.
I’m incredibly glad, not least because it was a great confidence boost. I know I suffer from imposter syndrome – that fear that I’m actually rubbish and someone is going to expose me as a fraudster – but now I know that I’m actually on the right track. I was already doing the things the trainer recommended, but now I have a greater understanding of the science behind why I write as I do.
So here’s my kick-up-the-butt advice. Face your fears and book that course.