The theme of ShellsuitZombie Magazine issue 6 is ‘I Still Don’t Know What I’m Doing’. It’s a safe bet to say that most of us have at least thought that recently, if not wailed it mournfully into an empty beer glass. This series of posts is a bit more about us, what we still don’t know yet, and what we’d maybe like to do if we had any idea what was going on with our lives.
This time around, it’s: Kady, 28, freelance copywriter.
How does life look right now?
Scary, to be honest. Uncertain. I’m a boomerang kid these days – moved out of London and back in with my parents to save money. It’s hard not to feel like that’s taking a step backwards. And freelancing means never knowing when you’re next going to get paid. The financial predictability of a full-time job was quite nice (so was the free coffee…).
Have you decided what you want to be when you grow up yet?
I thought I had, but now I’m not so sure again.
There was a time, not that long ago, when I expected to just stay on the oft-trodden track from midweight copywriter to senior copywriter to head of copy. Maybe creative director eventually. It seemed like the logical, straightforward thing to do. Going freelance has sort of thrown that out of the window.
What I’d definitely like to be, head of copy or not, is bilingual. I’ve definitely got English down pat at this point, so I need to work on my Japanese. I have most of the ‘what’ in my mind but just not the ‘how’, I guess.
What’s the biggest thing that’s happened in your career so far?
There’s been a gradual shift that’s made a massive difference: people have started coming to ME for advice. Me! This is a big thing to me. And obviously I do my best to help them. I don’t want to bullshit people, but… have I reached a stage where I can give other people advice? It doesn’t feel real.
How far have you travelled – physically and/or mentally – in the last year?
It definitely feels like I’ve taken more long-distance train journeys than usual in the last 12 months. My handbag crunches with the density of train receipts. The distance between London and the rest of the country feels a lot bigger when you’re stuck on a packed commuter train with no working loo.
My mental state’s improved no end, though. This time last year, I’d gone through setback after setback and I wasn’t in a good place at all. Everything’s feeling a hell of a lot better now.
How has being part of SSZ changed you?
I’m definitely less afraid to swear in blog posts and on social media now. Sorry – I’m definitely less afraid to fucking swear in blog posts and other shit now. There, that’s much better. Other people would call that increased confidence. I call it poetic license. Attaching myself to SSZ like a needy limpet has also given me the chance to mingle, see and do a bunch of stuff for free, take photos of cool things, come up with mad ideas, and feel like I can save the world.
The other thing is… it hasn’t exactly changed me, but my family. One of the first posts I did was about family, and it gave them a better look at the kind of writer I am. I think they understand me a lot more now.
What have you done that you’re most proud of?
Speaking from a professional standpoint, I’m very proud of my website. Even using a site builder, designing and arranging the pages took over a month. Writing is definitely more my thing. I did the typical copywriter thing of getting the copy finished before I thought about the design. Cue web designers crinkling their wireframes in disgust.
In my personal life, it’s been finally having a go at stand-up comedy. It was a New Year’s resolution, one of three. There’s only one left to complete: being published in print. And I’ll achieve that when the next issue of SSZ mag comes out, so keep your eyes peeled. 2015 might be the first year I tick off all of my resolutions. That’d be something to be proud of, too.
What are you glad you *didn’t* do?
Pretty much all of the higher-level jobs I interviewed for and didn’t get. At the time, I thought it’d be great to challenge myself with a tougher, more senior role – but really, I would’ve been way out of my depth. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing.
What do you want to do next?
Everyone and their dog is telling me that the next step is to write a book. I know so many writers who’ve done that in the last year. Do I want to write a book? I’m not sure. I have no idea what it would be about or who would read it. Would it make me look more important?
What I WANT to do is go back to Japan soon. And hopefully stay there. Still working on that one.
If you could send a message to the person you were a year ago, what would it say (in summary)?
Kady, you worry too much. You’re at one of the lowest points you’ve ever been. The next few months aren’t going to be any better. But you’re worrying about the future way too much considering you don’t know what that’ll be yet. It’s going to be fine, so get on with making it fine.
Want to finish with any shameless plugs?
You bet I do.