People often ask me how I became a copywriter — especially those who want to follow a similar career path.
The truth is there isn't a set way to become a copywriter and none of the copywriters I know took the same route I did. This is why virtually every copywriter you meet will be unique — with a different background and a different set of skills.
I think I was always destined to write, but my experience at school set me on an alternative tangent that changed everything.
When I was young I always thought I would be a writer.
As a youngster, I had a natural way with words, a large vocabulary for my age and a vivid imagination. I loved reading and writing more than anything else.
While other children were playing outside, climbing trees and riding bikes, I was writing stories at the dining room table.
But then, things changed.
In 1991 I started studying for my A' Levels. I took four: English, Sociology, Design & Technology and the mandatory General Studies.
Having achieved two A-grades at GCSE, A' Level English had been an obvious subject choice for me. I had expected to enjoy it — but I didn't.
The books we were given to read seemed dry, tedious and uninspiring. In class, we would laboriously pick them apart — line by line, word by word — analysing every detail.
My love of reading diminished and I found myself leaning towards Design & Technology.
I bought myself some thinking time.
My A' Level results threw me. I had struggled to get a B in English, but breezed through with an A in Design & Technology.
Confused and no longer knowing what I wanted to do, I took a job as an optical assistant at a city centre opticians' practice.
I still count this as one of the best career choices I ever made. Dealing with the public on a daily basis did wonders for my confidence and, for the first time, I learned to work as part of a team.
I felt I was ready to go to university.
I chose it because it was part design, which I loved, and part business and management theory, which I thought would be good at.
The course was an excellent foundation in project management, marketing, advertising and business. All of which are incredibly worthwhile skills if you want to be a copywriter.
I played to my strengths.
As a designer I was a constant disappointment to myself.
No matter how much time I spent reading, learning and honing my skills, I didn't have the talent. Even if I had an amazing idea in my head, I could never execute it.
Tomorrow I will reveal what happened after I graduated and how I got my copywriting break.
About the author.
Jenny Lucas is a freelance copywriter, content writer and copy editor based in Leicestershire, UK.
To find out more about Jenny, her work and the services she offers, visit her website.