Ugh, haven't written in here for a substantial period of time. I apologize for that--I haven't abandoned this place, but I've been relatively preoccupied with other projects.
See, at work I've been recruited to try out copywriting, on top of my copyediting and proofreading duties. This is very exciting for me: I've always had all sorts of creative suggestions for copy crossing my desk, so to actually start with a blank sheet should be more inspiring than asking someone else to tweak something they've written, right?
Yes and no. A first step into copywriting is definitely a desirable direction, but the project I was given was fairly involved and intense. It would be like handing Dostoevsky to a gifted fourth-grade reader, with a time limit. He could certainly parse the bulk of it but would he be able to polish it off in two weeks? There are definitely other copywriting jobs I could handle, but this one was a bit over my head.
And I went from three hours of free time at work to six hours of solid writing. It was great to have more hours to tack onto my time card, but was I producing quality copy, or copy of the quality they required? I began to feel insecure, as though I'd bitten off more than I could chew and that I stood to let some pretty important people down. The project has since been shifted to a more experienced copywriter... and my schedule has lightened considerably.
I wonder whether it would have made much of a difference to take a copywriting class during my college career. I think it could have been helpful, but there were definitely aspects to this project that were exceptional to most copywriting tasks. I'm trying to say that I don't think I'm a bad writer for not pulling this off, and a formal class may have helped but that this situation was exceptional.
So I'm still learning. Maybe I'll practice with other clients--being a contractor, I can work with anyone--or maybe I'll redirect my energy toward short stories and freelance editing jobs. I'm just trying to stay positive about the whole thing. It wasn't my fault, it could've happened to anybody...