Personal Journey

Website Coming Soon…I think

By Cynthia Maldonado on February 26, 2024

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Pink Scrabble tiles spell out the words: coming soon. They sit on a light blue background.

My first article for PR & Lattes was released on June 11, 2023. At the time of writing, I was also working on building an extensive writing portfolio and had a clear timeline for my professional journey. I found a handful of projects to hone my skills and round out my portfolio much faster than anticipated.

The metaphorical ball was rolling rapidly when the blog post went live. I set out to create my professional website. Following the same process I take for all clients, I put together a brand voice, tone guide, and creative brief. I enjoy writing so much that everything up to this point seemed almost too easy. As I wrote my second article, to be released July 2023, my mind was already thinking of the next one. I was entirely certain that lucky article number three would act as an introduction to my brand new, AMAZING website.

…It did not.

Neither did the next few. Instead, my seventh piece for PR & Lattes will explore why my website is still very much a work in progress.

Writing copy for clients? Enjoyable. Writing copy for myself? Please don’t make me.

I know I can’t possibly be alone in finding writing for myself downright excruciating. In theory, writing the website for my own company is no different than writing for a client. It shouldn’t feel so impossible. And yet, it does.

Let’s dig into the human psyche for a moment (one of my favourite pastimes) and look into why this might be.

Perfectionism

You are your own worst critic. As human beings, there is a natural tendency to be much harder on ourselves than on others. While perfectionism still creeps in when writing for a client, in these cases, it applies ONLY to my writing. This pushes me to create work I am proud of without being paralyzed. Writing copy for yourself adds an extra layer of self-judgment. Not only am I judging my words, but I am also scrutinizing the brand that I am writing for. This creates a scenario where I am no longer critiquing my work; I am critiquing myself. This lack of separation between what I do and what I am can be difficult to navigate. No matter how many times I rewrite a section of my website, I am left feeling that it should and could be better.

Fear of Being Seen

It is not easy to put yourself out there. Writers, in general, are often behind the scenes in PR or entertainment for a reason. I feel confident that many of us are pretty uncomfortable with the spotlight. Letting my creativity flow from the safety of my laptop is easy. Writing specifically about myself and attaching it to an entire website with my face all over it? Significantly scarier.

Discomfort with Self-promotion

I love it when someone can fully own their accomplishments and act as their own biggest fan! We should feel comfortable bragging about ourselves. This isn’t always the case, though. I believe that until very recently, it was heavily ingrained in us that self-promotion is unappealing. Many of us were raised in a society that frowned upon anything perceived as conceited or arrogant. I do find that I often feel uncomfortable hyping myself up too much publicly. Writing copy for myself requires that I do exactly that. This is something that I  have actively worked on rewiring in my brain, and I think you should, too. There should never be shame in telling the world how awesome you are.  

Impostor Syndrome

Aside from feeling like we shouldn’t brag about ourselves, sometimes it isn’t easy to do so because we simply don’t believe what we are saying. Writing with the intention of selling my own services as a Copywriter essentially means telling people how great I am at my job and how I know I can help them achieve their goals. It is entirely normal, especially when starting a new career or when things have moved rapidly, to feel like you have everyone fooled. In turn, it creates a fear that you will be found out one day. This can feel terrifying and lead to second-guessing everything you write for yourself. This is a difficult one for most people, not only writers.

Having Too Much to Say

This is a problem I have also seen affecting clients who have asked me to edit their promotional materials. It is not uncommon to write entirely too much when you are writing for yourself. A lack of objectivity when crafting your own copy makes it difficult to be concise. You know yourself best, and you know ALL SIDES of yourself. You want to share as much as possible with your target audience so that they can truly see you, your passion, and what you stand for. You don’t want to feel that you missed something important or were inauthentic. The truth is that no potential client will wish to (or have the time) to scroll through a novel-sized website. Keeping your copy focused on the target audience and their needs is important. The struggle here is real!

The human mind is a powerful thing. It can simultaneously be your best friend and your worst enemy. Regarding my career in Copywriting so far, it has been both. Specifically, in the creation of my website, it has leaned towards the latter. Whether it is dealing with perfectionism, the fear of being seen, a discomfort with self-promotion, feelings of being an imposter, or difficulties with self-editing, there is no shortage of reasons why writing copy for oneself can be so.darn.infuriating.

Even so, this process has unexpectedly given me the chance to delve into, confront, and begin to address mental blocks I wasn’t aware I had. Although the date of my website launch remains a mystery, the inner workings of my mind have become much clearer.

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