Wow. That’s a big question that I’ve never asked myself before. It’s never been important like being at the top of a list of priorities, or even at the top of the ‘important/urgent’ quadrant of a to-do list. But it’s important to my heart, to the part of me that always has writing as the answer to the question ‘what do you really want to be doing right now’.
The comfort of keyboard clicks & screen focus soothes my soul. My writing has always been a natural outpouring of my thoughts and never a chore. Well, mostly never, unless you count struggling through sections of an unknown subject section in a tender document and even then we made it into the top 2 out of 35. Word count has always been a guiding constraint and never an impossible mountain to climb.
So why the heck am I in an I.T. business? And why do I need a writing course?
My business provides a modest lifestyle for my husband and I to spend time with our young daughters, the eldest of which is rapidly heading towards double-figures! Checking support tickets and researching problems and solutions means I can put money in the bank to pay the mortgage etc etc. But my heart still desperately wants to write.
This year, I’ve had opportunities to stretch my writing wings into two areas I’d never dreamt of before: as a freelancer for two different organisations focussed on the wellbeing of teenagers. I’ve learnt about sexually transmitted infections and the impacts of alcohol on teens. I’ve constructed policies, marketing materials and managed social media sites and I’ve loved every minute of it. But in the back of my mind there’s been this niggling doubt. Do I actually know what I’m doing? My clients are happy with the results so far, but I’m chained by knowledge that I have no educational background in writing, no courses or degrees, just the hope of some raw ability. I’m too scared to say ‘talent’.
So while freelance copywriters abound on the Internet, a lack of formal training is holding me back from pitching this as a skill and turning it into income earning potential. In short, I guess it’s about confidence. It would be an absolute dream to sit at my keyboard each day, write from my heart and be able to match (preferably better!) the money I can generate from solving computer problems.
For my two clients (both existing friends), there is enormous potential to take their passion for young people and create presentations, workshops, blogs, guides, books etc that teach teens, parents and teachers. They both have very real, practical experiences that, when shared effectively, will make a difference in the lives of our young people. And I want to be part of that. I want to be the written voice for them when they are too busy and writing isn’t their passion.
And in addition to seeing this knowledge-sharing potential, I fall straight back to my own I.T. business. There are two books inside of me, to help small business owners. There are two books inside of me to start generating some passive income for my family. And there’s a small voice of doubt that holds me back and always finds something more important to do.
So, there you have it. For me, a scholarship to the Damn Fine Words writing course isn’t about being able to create better website copy to get more I.T. clients. It’s not about a dream to launch a career as a copywriter (I’m not that bold …yet). It’s about learning techniques, knocking rough edges off some writing ability and smashing that barrier of doubt. Because with that new confidence, I can help to change the lives of teens, small business owners & my own family. And the thought of that makes my heart sing.