It was a Friday at 11PM and I looked up from my screen.
Breathing in, I stretched. My back creaked.
The page was finished, proofed and sent.
Weekend was around the corner.
Except, I had no plans. Not for the Friday evening, not for the rest of the weekend.
It was going to be Youtube till bedtime, and work the rest of the weekend.
Same as every week.
I was alone, in a town I didn’t like, and aside from the Chinese guy at the cornershop, I hadn’t spoken to anyone in over a week
And it had been like this for months.
It seemed all I did was work.
No: All I actually did was work.
Except for when my girlfriend would be over from England – and even then I spent more time with clients than with her.
I sat back and wondered how the hell I had ended up like this.
I felt sorry for myself
It had been a year since I started as a copywriter, and at first it had been fun. Impoverished, but fun.
Now I was in better straits, but there wasn’t much fun in it.
In this town, I hadn’t made any friends – couldn’t because I was always working. Even my nights out would be for networking – and it ain’t easy to make real friends at a Tweetup.
My mind wondered through the previous year – the clients I’d had and the things I’d learned.
And all the fun that I hadn’t had.
At that point, I was ready to take my self-pity and turn it into a good ‘n solid depression.
But suddenly, something woke up in me
A memory, a choice I’d made – suddenly the moment came back to me clear as day.
It was as if I’d locked away a facet of Martin a year back, and he’d suddenly broken out.
And in my head, he spoke:
“Do you remember, Martin, that you chose this?
That, one year ago when you got your first few clients, you told yourself you’re going sit here and hole yourself up and get serious about this?
You decided – PROMISED yourself that you’d learn till year head bursts, write till your fingers are numb – and turn this copywriting gig into an actual business?”
My mind reeled.
It truly was like I had disappeared, even from myself
Like a frigging hermit in a cave. I’d even gone back to wearing my monk robe in the winter because I didn’t have heating (and man those rags are comfortable).
Suddenly the shroud was lifted, and I saw myself from a different perspective: A guy who had gotten into trouble, who had made a decision, and had gotten the hell down to work.
A guy who had just sacrificed a year of his life, in terms of social and emotional activities and experiences, and who had invested that sacrifice in advancing his life situation.
To this day I don’t know how I managed to push on for so long, feeling increasingly isolated and unhappy – while completely forgetting that I’d actually decided to do this.
But I’d done it, and it had been worth it. I’d build something that wasn’t finished or stable yet, but at least it was a base I could use as a starting point for more serious growth.
My reverie ended with a big smile, and a profound sense of gratitude for the way I had been a year ago, and for the decision that this ‘other Martin’ had made for me.
I put on my shoes, grabbed a modest bucket of red paint, and headed into town.
Now: yesterday I promised you a freebie – sorry I didn’t send it yet. The night took an unexpected turn and I couldn’t send, so here:
For subscribers, and because yesterday was my B-Day, I’m giving you a free, no obligation mini review of one of your pages.
Just send me the URL of your most important page (or the one most in need of help) and I’ll cast the stellar gaze over it etc etc.
This is a condensed version of the copy reviews that normally cost money etc, but if I spend 20 minutes on your page, it costs me very little and you are without any doubt going to get some tips that’ll help your business.
And you know, it’s free. You can’t lose :) Happy Martin’s birthday.