Happiness is when your boss’s boss’s boss asks you what inspires you—and you have no answer.
I experienced this joy a couple of weeks ago. It went like this…
Head Guy: “So what inspires you?”
What I thought: Oh crap. Why don’t I know? I should know. Why is he so bald? Why am I thinking about that? I should say something smart. Oh God, what if I blurt out something about his bald head? I need to say something. Just not about his head. Not the head!”
What I said: “New experiences.”
Yay! I side-stepped all head remarks!
Head Guy: “Huh.”
For two weeks, I was stuck for an answer. So I cruised the Internet to find out what inspires other people.
What I discovered did not make me feel better about myself.
In my last post, I shared how a fellow writer managed to get down almost 36,000 words despite him having a family, a toddler and mushrooms growing in his basement.
And I asked “What’s my excuse?”
Truth is, I don’t have one. I just suck at setting boundaries with myself. When I’ve blocked off time to work on my writing, my process goes something like this:
Last week a fellow copywriter accidentally sent me his first draft of his work in progress.
(Note to those of you who are new to Apple Air Drop: make sure you know where you’re sending your stuff. And don’t send sensitive materials if you’re practicing.)
We commonly share all kinds of writing and such with each other so of course, I cracked it open and read it. (I didn’t know he didn’t mean to share. Otherwise I would have respected his privacy.)
Reading his work was a wake-up call for me. In many ways. First, he had almost 36,000 words down. That made 99 pages. I still haven’t hit 10,000 words.
This is a man with a full-time job, a wife and a three-year-old. Way busier than I am. They recently found mushrooms growing in their basement. His hands are full.
Yet he still managed to get down half a novel.
Where’s my excuse?
The cat’s looking at me funny.
As of June 1, Rubber Ducky Copywriter is three years old. I was planning on a big party during which my rubber ducks and I celebrate with cupcakes and champagne, but that has to wait; I have to go to a funeral instead.
But this may be the longest I’ve ever stuck with one project. I’m pretty proud.
Over these three years, I’ve learned more than I did over the first year (math is finally working in my favor). Here’s where I impart questionable wisdom and so-so insights for those of you who blog or who’re still thinking about it…
Ever work on a mind-numbing copywriting project that just won’t end?
New feedback conflicts with previous feedback. Nit-picky edits stemming from random opinion. Rounds and rounds of review are followed by more rounds of review.
It laughs in the face of all processes and procedures as it robs you of your sanity.
Not every project turns out like this. Some go on forever and when they’re done, you miss them (you were having that much fun). But once in a while, there’s that odd project that inspires you to do practically anything to just end the pain.
That moment you reach that point of no return?
I call it the Cat Butt Level.
As in “I’ll stick a picture of a cat’s butt on this thing if you will just approve it.”