The Art of Making It Through a Day as an Advertising Copywriter (And Other Useful Information)

6:54 My job as an advertising copywriter begins before I step foot in the office. In fact, it begins before I step out of bed. The first thing I do (following my dog’s morning wakeup licks) is check the notebook I keep on my nightstand. Oftentimes, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and write down ideas or headline. When I look at them the next morning, they’re not as brilliant as I thought. But on the rare occasion, I have a thought that’s worth keeping around. And when I discover one of these gems, I return the dog’s lick with one of my own.


8:40 I’m on my way in listening to 97.1 The Ticket. Really, I’m only half-listening as I begin to ponder taglines for a new product. And then I realize, I’ll probably forget all my thoughts before I have a chance to jot them down. My focus turns back to Detroit sports gossip. I spill coffee on my pants.   



9:00 I arrive on time. Okay, fine, it’s 9:10. I grab more coffee with high hopes of not spilling this time. I set my stuff up, check my favorite news sites and ad pubs, watch the best commercials from the past week and look to see what’s on tap for the day.


9:30 I write some headlines for a banner ad. They’re funny, but funny in a, “the client will never buy these” sort of way. They’d make for humorous birthday cards. But I don’t write cards for Hallmark’s Shoebox division. I’m still trying to wake up. I’m not much of a morning person. Then again, I’m not much of an afternoon person. Or for that matter, an evening person. Am I even a person?




12:30 I brought lunch, but I leave the office for some fresh air and new scenery. I drive to Meijer and walk around. As I wander the aisles aimlessly, my brain does the same. There’s something about being in a big box store that allow me to think outside the box. I spilled coffee. Cleanup on aisle five.


1:30 I return to the office. A few proofreading jobs that were on my desk have made their way to my chair. I get the hint. The good news is nothing works off a food coma like a good proofread. I proofread a case study. No changes. I read it again. I find a couple spelling mistakes and a grammatical error. This is why I read everything twice. Or almost twice.


2:30 I make some green tea. Next on the agenda is coming up with names for a new product launch. I think of about fifty names. Some are a bit too “cute.” I cut down the list. And then I cut it down again before showing the list to my Creative Director who cuts it down even more. He has me come up with more names. I spill some green tea on my pants.


4:30 I put my writing jobs aside to spend some time researching an agency client whose product I’m not very familiar with. That’s one of the cool things about the ad business. There’s always something new to learn about. A new client. A new product. A new thing-a-ma-jigger to advertise.


5:30 My brain begins to wander. I think of a new product idea. A poop holster for dogs to carry their own poop around on long walks. My brain continues to wander. Maybe it’s time to call it a day.


6:00 Okay fine, it’s 5:57. Close enough. Goodnight.