Guest blog from Rachel Williams, professional copywriter.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas I found it virtually impossible to concentrate on work. For every sentence I tried to string together there was a message alert racing around in my brain – had I bought enough presents for the kids’ teachers, which child’s nativity was on what date, when did costumes need to be taken in, would we need more potatoes for our extra guests on Boxing Day, would Amazon deliver in time, what could I buy for a difficult and moody teenager with just two shopping days left, and would there be anything left in the supermarkets by the time I managed to do the food shopping?
Please don’t say it was just me!
All that festive angst just wasn’t conducive to crafting good copy and I struggled to achieve anything of worth – hastily written cards and a very long shopping list was pretty much as good as it got (although I do always relish writing a note from Santa to my children on Christmas Eve). Writing is a creative process that requires the whole brain to be engaged, empty(ish) of anything but the task in hand. I love the feeling of getting into the flow of a job, becoming absorbed and able to forget about everything else, so Christmas and all the organising required to make it happen presented a real hurdle for me. And how mean did I feel when my boys asked me if I was excited about Christmas and I replied with a very Scrooge-like ‘no’.
And the moral of this story is? Well, for one thing don’t commission a copywriter two weeks before Christmas, especially if they are attempting to juggle work and home commitments. And if you do, add at least two days to any deadline you set – the only thing that can be reasonably promised is that Christmas Day will be 25 December!
Fortunately, I have now come out the other side and am finding myself ‘writing’ whole chunks of copy as I’m driving (note to self: ask Santa for a Dictaphone next year!) and ideas are once again popping into my head – those are the kind of scribbled ‘do not forget’ notes that I like to stick on my computer screen, ones that make no mention of sprouts, parsnips or stuffing.
So here’s to 2012 and eleven months free of seasonal stress!