Category Archives: 2017 Boot Camp

Great Event! New Goal!

What goal did you get out of Boot Camp?

AWAI’s annual Boot Camp is over for 2017.  What an amazing event and an amazing new goal.

Over the years, I’ve attended many similar events, mostly for a job.  I came away from those so pumped up with enthusiasm!  Wow, this was great!  Wasn’t that a wonderful meeting?

Yet, somehow that enthusiasm faded over a fairly short period of time.  I honestly feel the reason for that probably came from lack of substance in the presentations or the subject matter.  No new goals emerged because of those events.

New Goal, New Tools

My feelings changed over these last few days.  And, I have to state categorically, the enthusiasm continues to grow right now.

The content of this event, a Boot Camp (aka intense training), was real TRAINING for copywriters.  My biggest take-away from this event comes from the willingness of the world’s best and highest earning copywriters to share what they know with those of us just starting out. Learning from their mistakes, and understanding more than just you fear moving out of the “comfort zone.”  I’ll use my experience as an example.

And I’d love to hear from anyone who would like to chime in about their experience, goal(s), and take-aways.

  1.  Overcoming fear:  This one is a pet project for me.  So, when a I heard several of the speakers talk about getting past their fears, I made it my first goal to do what scares me most – turning in a piece of writing for feedback.
  2. Reworking my LinkedIn profile immediately – as a matter of fact I’ve set a clock on this one.  It will be updated this week.
  3. Last, but not least, my website will be updated to reflect the niche and the types of writing I do.  That, too will be completed with a time frame.

My list of new goals take up a almost page of notebook paper.  How about yours?

What will I do with this blog once I have reached these goals?  The answer is quite simply, actually.  I’m going to talk about another journey.  The plan is to talk about my niche, celebrate any new clients, and pass on things I learn or find through researching.  Please hang on while this new journey takes shape!

Jessie McPeeke
Freelance Copywriting

Change in Plans for Boot Camp

One day last week, I received an email from A W A I. The email contained the big announcement about Boot Camp – the whole thing is going to be streamed live this year. Wow! That’s really cool! I guess I better remember my makeup bag just in case I accidentally and up on camera.

Now, a few days later, I had a doctors appointment as a follow-up to my illness last year. He indicated he’s a little concerned about an ongoing medical situation left over from that illness. I asked him if the situation could be improved so I could fly to Delray Beach, Florida in a couple of weeks. He responded, emphatically, that he would not clear me to fly anywhere.

Okay, so my Boot Camp plans changed.

I’m not going to go into the details now. Suffice it to say, I don’t think my physician has any other 70-year-old patients trying to start a new career. (I’m sure there are lots – just not in his practice.) To be honest, I was a combination of angry and disappointed.

Of course, as I drove home my mind was working overtime. While sitting at a stop light three blocks from my house I remembered the email. Now I haven’t really looked it email previously – other than just to scan the first paragraph when it came in. I intended to be there in person. It took everything I have in the way of patience for me to stay calm, remember to lock the car door, and stopped to pet the dogs when they greeted me at the door.

After I sat down at the computer and read the email, I literally sighed with relief. What a great alternative!

After letting my dogs outside and making some lunch, I sat back down at the computer and reread the email – this time not just skimming, but reading in depth. That in itself is unusual. I don’t feel comfortable writing long sales letters. Reading one without skimming creates quite a difficulty , too. What I read in that email, though, made me feel all a lot better.

The long and the short of it is this: I plan to attend Boot Camp after all.

So let’s talk just a little bit about the virtual Boot Camp.

According to all I’ve read, you get to see everything while it’s happening. And there’s an advantage, I think, in the fact that you can stop if you need to, pause the video, and started up again. As far as I can see, Virtual Boot Camp gives you all the same advantages.  To me, not having to fly (and I usually love to) a three stop trip each way is probably a good thing. Before my illness I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. This year I was a little concerned about it. Now that consideration is off the table, I won’t worry about being so tired from the trip that I can’t concentrate on the activities. Oh yes! I’ll be sleeping in my own bed, wrapped up in three Australian Shepherds.

Spec Assignments

The spec assignments are the same – I’m trying to pick the ones I want to try right now.

Recently, I read an article about spec assignments. The article noted that all novels, at least until you become a famous author, are spec assignments, written in advance. The author creates the work on “spec” and doesn’t know until (when and if) that contract comes in their email if the publisher liked the work. But with the novel, once that editor says no, there’s little to no chance that publisher will ever pick it up for publication. With copywriting it’s pretty much the same.

Okay, I’m taking that from what I read. It’s not based on my copywriting experience (limited at best). That article, however, is really helping me handle my fear of spec assignments. I began the research for one today. And for me that’s a big step. I became so fascinated by the research, I lost track of time. So I’ll be waking up to a kitchen sink full of dishes in the morning. I can handle that.

Not being able to attend Boot Camp in person, and the reason behind it, kind of opened my eyes to several things – one of them is my health. Miss Gypsy here has had her wings clipped to a certain extent. I am bound and determined not to let this have any negative affect my plans for building my copywriting business. I will adjust, write like crazy, and make use of this great streaming technology. There’s absolutely no reason for me to give up my plans for copywriting just because I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I’m still going to soar like an eagle! And when my arthritic fingers have trouble typing for long periods of time, there’s always Dragon Anywhere. (No, I’m not an affiliate. It works on my iPad.)

So now my plans include beginning a new Chronicle – my journey to attend virtual Boot Camp this year.