I’m not learning fast enough

Leo
4 min readSep 2, 2022

Ah yes, never thought that long-form writing would be the comfort I’d reach for now as a copywriter.

For context, I started a job as a copywriter at the end of June 2022 and for the first time in my professional career, it felt like I was right where I was supposed to be. When I started my foray into writing, I did not expect much from it as it was an internship and I was still trying to figure out where I’d fit in the creative landscape.

I had the pleasure and absolute privilege to meet the editor of my dreams in 2020, who trained me through tough love and turned my writing from trash to treasure. As someone who is very lazy and largely unmotivated, I for once felt that I was somewhat good at something from sheer practice and hard work.

It felt like a high like no other—I went from being terrified of submitting my drafts to confidently writing while under the influence and producing decent work.

Then the pandemic hit, and the chemical imbalance was at an all-time high. I lost my motivation, I got lazy again, couldn't find a writing job that stuck and could not find writing jobs. I had a year-long break from full-time creativity and felt like fucking shit.

Then I decided I was mentally ready for my breast reduction surgery and went for it. Left my e-commerce role and took a break from working to give myself ample time to heal mentally and physically from major surgery.

Perhaps I was unlucky or was simply looking for the wrong jobs—I was once again struggling to look for full-time creative jobs. I could not find suitable roles in long-form writing and thought eh fuck it I still have the hunger and curiosity to look for other forms of writing jobs, why not copy?

My fascination with writing copy started at the end of 2018, when I binged Mad Men and fell in love with the idea of writing for ads. Sure, it’s fictional and dramatised but damn did that series left a proper impression on me.

My goal was simple: To write copy for traditional media one day. Given the modern media landscape, that goal would be hard, but not entirely impossible.

Through dumb luck, I found myself at my current agency and it’s been a dream. Kind, friendly and collaborative colleagues, nurturing seniors—as someone who is externally motivated, I could have never dreamed of a better working environment.

I can honestly say that this is probably the hardest I’ve worked. The most effort I’ve ever devoted to my professional career, but it simply is not enough. Perhaps I am not working smart once again and my stress coping mechanisms are failing me once again.

I’m a full-timer now, there are expectations to be had, and I am not learning fast enough.

Yes, I’ve never written copy in a professional capacity before, yes it’s only been two months, but also, it’s been two months. Writing copy is a completely different beast from editorial writing and I am struggling.

I do not possess the right tone, my copy isn’t engaging enough, not snappy enough, my fucking writing still sounds editorial and I am so frustrated at myself for simply not getting it.

I knew that the change would be hard and that it would require time to learn, but I did not think that I would be grasping at straws this hard.

I want to be a copywriter. I want to be a copywriter for some time. But what if I’m simply not cut out for it? I still am motivated to work on my craft and my technical skills but it fucking sucks to hear that I’m not learning fast enough. So much so that my job is being called into question.

I love my job. I take pride in my work — it saddens me to know that in this current moment, whatever I’m doing is not enough.

I will internalise the feedback that I’ve received and try my best to find tangible solutions to my issues, but I must admit that I’ve reached a point of resignation/acceptance. I will continue to work on my craft but the end of my probation is nearing soon and it’s so anxiety-inducing to know that I may perhaps be jobless in the next 11 working days.

As friends have said, stress is my biggest enemy and being hyper-stress for the next two weeks will do me no good. I will carry on, business as usual and be more hyper-focused on the things I can work on, but if that isn’t enough, then so be it.

I am by no means giving up, I am simply preparing myself for the worst.

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Leo

Way too curious for my own good, a baby nihilist and writer of sorts.