I’ve been busier than ever this lockdown. Firstly, there has been the pressure that any minute now, copywriting work might drop off, in a postapocalyptic nightmare-type scenario.
I wake at night, dreams burgeoning with the shadowy figure of a giant grimreaper-esque figure of Rishi Sunak frantically waving his IR35 paperwork in my face so that I’m unable to breathe, while sending a long line of creative associates into a queue marked ‘End game’. It’s the place where old copywriters and art directors go to pay even more taxes and to die alone knowing they didn’t give quite their best to the economy.
Of course, this is not why I wake at all. I simply need the toilet. I’m over forty now, after all. A rare copywriter beast, being female and a mother with tweenage children. The lockdown however, has allowed me to enjoy my copywriting career in a way I have often struggled to: I’m able to work full-time hours.
With no long commutes to deal with, shaving a good two or so hours off my day, not to mention train delays, I can perform the small miracle that is juggling caring for two children and holding down a relationship whilst maintaining my ageing mother’s needs. Normal life for many people, of course.
This does not affect my work. My copywriting work is everything to me and more. Being a working mum has actually improved aspects of my work, but that’s another story.
Lockdown has empowered me as a mother but also, it has given me a new mountain to visit as well. But I have already climbed several before now – creative types often have – so I’m actually well placed to tackle more. I’ve got the skills and the passion, and of course, bags and bags of wisdom. And that has helped me to become even more incisive. I don’t want to be seen as past it and not ‘thirty under thirty’ enough. One thing I hear from time to time is that more mature creatives have a really positive attitude to their work, which is great to hear. Sadly, I add this in as many of my contemporaries joke they are dead and buried, even though they’re really not.
This year, in a full-time freelance capacity, I came up with concepts for a major car retailer’s Valentine’s Day campaign, working remotely alongside an Art Director, whose time was being simultaneously stretched across two other jobs. I then executed creative rationale, sold in the work to the client over Zoom and developed the copy lines and thinking required for the entire UK dealerships to take the ideas and implement them across all their social media channels. And the continuity and joy that brought me as a copywriter, was simply wonderful. When I work remotely, I can get more done. And freelancing doesn’t always allow you to have that autonomy. Sometimes you might not even get in front of the client at all. You might not be ‘trusted’ because you’re not an employee. But when you are, it’s a fabulous feeling.