Monday, April 7, 2008

Where's Your Gunk Coming From?

This is an interesting article by Michael Fortin. He discusses his path to copywriting (beginning as an insurance salesman and eventually hanging his own proverbial shingle as an independent freelancer and eventual business owner).

In the comments section someone asked Michael about his opinion on college education vs. real-world experience.

He makes interesting points for both sides and I've always been of the belief that college was an important part of a person's education but it is definitely not the last step...nor is an MBA or a PhD or any other advanced degree. Learning is a lifelong process.

To be a true student of your craft (whether that's copywriting or another craft), studying is a necessary part of your growth and development.

All great leaders in this world are great readers. What you fill your mind with through books, music, audio programs, movies, etc...all of those things contribute to your development (or lack thereof). It's definitely true in copywriting because it is an art. And art is an expression of your internal state or it comes from your internal state so it reflects whatever is going on inside of you. If you've got gunk in there, there'll be gunk in your copy.

I take this to heart in all areas of my life. I'm particular about what I read, what I watch on TV (the few hours I watch), what movies I see and even the people I spend time with. I've battled through enough gunk in my life which accumulated before I was old enough to fend it off. So I've decided to monitor the incoming gunk and keep it to a minimum!

What can you do to ward off the gunk? Turn off the heavy metal music and turn on a personal development audio CD instead? Maybe you can turn off the TV, skip the nightly news and read a book instead.

Try it for a week and see what happens. Notice if there's a difference in the way you feel and the way you express yourself.

It's had a substantial impact on my life and well-being, perhaps it will do the same for you.

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