admit it — You want a caseload overflowing with ideal clients.
At the same time, you’re starting to see that in order to have ideal clients reaching out to you consistently (and abundantly), you have to show up fully and unapologetically yourself in your copy.
Hello fear of failure and imposter syndrome! Oh, I didn’t see you there, perfectionism and shame gremlins. Ahhh, intrusive worry, glad to have you back. Thanks for reminding me of all the repercussions for saying the “wrong thing” or shining “too bright.”
Even so, you did it! You took a creative risk and you showed up more fully in your copy.
But the more you show up, the louder the fear gets.
Don’t worry, I got you.
You see, as a professional copywriter, I get feedback on my words FOR A LIVING. My livelihood depends on being able to accept feedback and keep showing up creatively and enthusiastically to the page.
But…I’m also a sensitive soul. You’d think those two wouldn’t go together, right?
Well, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to share for the hard writing days. You know, when all you wanna do is trash your first draft, set fire to your laptop, and eat nachos in bed?
These tricks? They are all about building creative resilience.
What is creative resilience?
Creative resilience is the ability to protect, tend to, and care for your creativity – over and over – no matter what.
The more you build your creative resilience, the easier you can love on all your messy, tornado-of-ideas first drafts or bounce back when you get tough feedback.
And the more you can learn how to do this…the more you can keep showing up and writing fearless, authentic copy, and the more easily you draw in your dream clients.
Before you know it, you’ve built a caseload that sustains you, not drains you.
10 Tips to Build Creative Resilience and Write Fearless Copy
1. Embrace (and even love) the ugly duckling stages of your copy
It’s time to love on your first, messy draft as you would awkward baby birds with irregular patches of down and funky feet.
[Image description: 2 ducklings with a green background, one duckling sitting down, the other fluttering their wings.]
These drafts are worthy of love and necessary for creative growth. If you continue to gently nurture them, you’ll see the results in your writing and your confidence.
Before you know it, you’ll have a goddamn literary swan staring back at you.
2. Find your ride-or-die supporters and ditch the haters
Find the people that love you and everything you write. The folks who see the potential on every page and challenge you to write better.
Find those people, keep them close, and call on them when you’re spiraling into self-criticism
If they aren’t a ride-or-die supporter, they don’t get to be in your creative sphere or have a say in your drafts. (Even if you love them.)
For more help with this step, check out this recent newsletter.
3. transform (or banish) your inner critic
Your inner critic is often more harsh and unfair about your copy than anyone else! Even so, our inner critic often needs the most love, but we shame it relentlessly.
Therapy and other healing work are great for helping transform our inner critic. I love exploring the stories and experiences of my critic and how she thinks she’s protecting me. Often, she’s hiding deeply rooted fears that require extreme tenderness (and, eventually, some gentle logic and firm boundaries).
I really love anything Internal Family Systems relates to work the critics, but trust whatever modality you’re drawn to. I’d found this book helpful to reframe my inner critic as a sign I was growing.
4. Identify your shame triggers
Notice what triggers your inner critic, perfectionism, and hate-everything-you-write spirals. It’s often connected to shame. You’ll want to work towards healing the shame wounds within yourself if you want to feel more fearless when you write.
Once again, therapy/healing arts are great for this, but don’t underestimate intentional reflection, self-awareness, and creative pursuits separate from your business.
There’s also an aspect of exposure therapy here. That is, keep writing. The more you write and put yourself out there, the easier it is to see that your catastrophic fears just won’t happen.
5. Naps, puppies, and nature
When you’re feeling the emotional backlash of feedback on your copy, it’s time to take a step away from your screen and lean into the natural world. Even stepping out can shift your perspective.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good cuddle with your dog. Seriously, your dog doesn’t care if your copy sucks.
Did I also say naps? That helps, too.
Basically, you must connect with places, activities, and people that help you remember who you are and what truly matters.
6. De-identify your copy from YOU
This one is hard because as a therapist you put your heart and soul into your words. As you write more courageously, you channel such tender, vulnerable pieces of yourselves into your copy. No wonder it’s so scary to put it out there and feel shattered by any negative feedback!
The truth is, once it’s on the page, it ceases to be you. It has a life of its own now.
You can have a relationship with your copy, but YOU ARE NOT YOUR COPY. Your inherent worth as a person does not rest on your copywriting skills.
7. show up and keep writing
Make a commitment to keep writing. Tend to yourself emotionally after a tough day, but show back up at the page as soon as you can–and even before you feel ready.
Every time you take care of yourself after feedback, then return to writing, you are saying YES to your creative self.
You are saying “I see you. I love you. I’m so proud of you. Let me take care of you.”
Well, look at you go You’re building creative resilience.
8. Remember you’re learning a new skill
You didn’t become an amazing therapist overnight, did you? No way. You had to record sessions as an intern, do practice sessions with colleagues, and stumble along until you got more confidence in your clinical skills.
Even after licensure, you still made mistakes, took classes, and learned the style and approach that best suited you.
Guess what – copywriting is really similar! It’s a honed skill, a practiced craft. It takes time, practice, and patience.
Embrace the learning process and ditch perfectionism. It’s a lot more fun to be messy and when you relax, you’ll write better copy, too.
9. everything is a first draft. Yes, Everything!
You will change your copy 6 months from now. You will change it continually as you evolve and grow as a clinician.
This means even your final draft is still a work-in-progress. There is freedom in this!
If you knew your copy didn’t have to be flawless, what would you allow yourself to put out into the world?
Okay, now do it.
10. Move it, MovE It
When we get side-swiped by shame, it’s easy to feel we are trapped in quicksand, unable to do anything but ruminate on our faults.
The antidote is to move in some way. Physically, energetically, creatively, etc.
Step away from your desk or go to a different room. Play high-energy music. Dance. Stretch. Or even do some free-writing to move the feeling through you.
If you’re feeling stuck, ask yourself: “What’s one step I could take today to move my copy forward?”
That might mean just getting it into a cohesive draft. Or hitting publish even though it doesn’t feel perfect. This type of creative movement is just as essential as moving your physical self.
2 thoughts on “10 Tips to Build Creative Resilience and Write Fearless Copy”
Number 6 is such an important one. I’ve learned to distant myself from my works thanks to a particularly harsh editor that always had issues with everything I put out. That’s definitely helped me be more objective in my future gigs. Anyway, thanks for this post, Arianna!
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That’s SO tough when it feels like you can’t do anything right for a editor. Thanks for your thoughts!
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