I recently had the misfortune of experiencing a technical failure that threatened my livelihood (as well as my sanity), and I thought I would share it with the copywriting community. I say technical failure; it was more like me picking up my computer and throwing it across the room.
I’m still developing a routine as a freelance copywriter (I don’t think I’ll ever perfect it). I’m experimenting with desk layouts and trialling various items of hardware. But one particular item of hardware has been causing me a great deal of stress. It was this item that I sent flying through the air and into a wall recently.
I recommend that you find a disused, obsolete or unwanted item of technology and release your own pent-up emotions in a similarly destructive way – it’s both cathartic and therapeutic.
You see, it was as I looked down upon the wreckage of my former workstation, I realised that it had been costing me a great deal of money. How many times had I become distracted whilst waiting for Outlook Express to open? Instead of sending emails to clients, I’d find myself catching up with friends on Facebook. Instead of fine-tuning a blog post, I’d be gazing through my office window and contemplating Newcastle United’s chances of victory that week.
Wasted time is wasted money.
The modern-day copywriter will probably spend at least 30 hours every week online. Your equipment needs to be fit for purpose; your broadband connection should be capable of downloading an attachment in less than a lunch hour.
I worked out – albeit very roughly on the top edge of the Times (it was actually the Sun) – that I spent 20 minutes every single day waiting. Waiting for pages to open; waiting for Excel to calculate how much money I hadn’t made that day; waiting for Microsoft Explorer to finally give up and go home. That’s 2 hours of my 6-day week spent waiting for technology to catch up with my thought-process.
Now, what does 2 hours actually mean? To me, it means a blog post, or the creation of some very basic website content. For the sake of argument, let’s say I make £80 for a blog post. Remember, this is a hypothetical £80 and purely for the benefit of this post. *coughs nervously*
Waiting for Dell to deliver was costing me a wallet-busting £80 per week. That’s £320 per month.
That’s … £3840 every year spent waiting around for the microchip to fulfil its destiny!
Of course, the £80 figure I used is aspirational. However, in reality, I’m losing around £2,000 every year. Or at least I was.
“Yes sir, give me your finest example of lap-based technology, and do not spare any expense!” I bellowed as I strutted confidently into PC World.
After realising I couldn’t afford the latest Macbook Air I opted for a budget laptop from Compaq, but I enjoyed the dance!
The moral of the story is your copywriting could suffer badly if you are battling with technology on a daily basis. Assume that you’ll make an extra £2,000 per year with the right equipment, and the purchase of a new, budget laptop will feel far less painful.