There are a lot of ways to learn how to be a copywriter, or get better at copywriting— pretty much all of which involve, ya know… writing copy.
But there are a few things that have helped me get better at copywriting, and it has nothing to do with writing—and everything to do with a little plumber whose girlfriend keeps getting “captured” by an angry turtle-dinosaur (yes, I know that’s not what he’s technically called.) Today’s post is all about how video games help me be a better copywriter.
Am I good at video games?
Um… not by most standards.
Do I care?
Only slightly… but not enough to stop me from having fun.
In this article, I’m going to talk about a weird correlation between my copywriting abilities, and my gaming hobby.
***Let’s just make this clear from the start that this is OBVIOUSLY meant to be a BIT satirical, and my opinion is my own. If you want some additional insight into more traditional techniques for how to improve copywriting skills, check out my other posts***
How It Started
I’ve been playing video games ever since I was old enough to hold a SNES controller. While I was never any good, I really loved the ability to socialize with friends without having to… uh… be social? LOL
However, after Jake (my now 2-year-old son) was born, my time/attention span for playing games (obviously) decreased drastically. I solely focused on building my new freelance copywriting businesses, learning how to be a new mom… and sleeping (when I could.)
However, toward the end of last year… burnout turned me into a shriveling crisp of anxiety, dread, overwhelm, and exhaustion. It took… MONTHS for me to recover, and during one of those months, I decided that I would treat myself to something I’d wanted for a few years.
A Nintendo Switch
We got our tax return, I had some extra savings leftover from the previous year… and I just wanted something that I could have some mindless and relaxing fun on. Nintendo Switch was perfect because it hosts SO MANY “cozy” games that weren’t overly stressful. In fact, most have a super adorable style (like Pokemon and Animal Crossing.) Being that the Switch was also ultra-portable, I thought it would be nice if I wanted to kick back in bed and play.
Unexpected Delight… Love At First Sight
So after ordering my special Mario Edition Switch (which was my second choice since I couldn’t get the Animal Crossing version to deliver same-day—I am impatient), I hooked it up.
While getting it set up, I was really worried that this was an impulse purchase, and I wouldn’t get all that much use out of it after the initial excitement wore off. Ya know, classic millennial buyers-remorse.
There was def initial excitement, but it hasn’t worn off yet! LOL.
Nintendo Switch is probably the best console I’ve ever played, and I very much look forward to my special gaming time after Jake goes to sleep and all my work is done!
Okay, But HOW Have Video Games Actually Helped My CopyWriting?
One major thing I noticed about my bad burnout issue was how little time I invested in “unproductive” things. Like, if I wasn’t working or taking care of Jake, I was reading personal development books, trying to work out to feel better about my postpartum body, etc, etc… I felt as though any time I used to just sit without “being productive” was a waste… and, obviously… without giving myself time to rest, the weight of everything caught up with me.
After some reflection, I knew I needed some time to just breathe without making every last one count—even if it meant it “detracted” from my productivity.
When I started playing my Switch, it was the perfect balance of challenging my brain, while allowing my mind to rest and replenish. Just like meditation, playing video games helps me be present and enjoy life without worrying about what needs to be done tomorrow.
Allowing myself the time to play games has been so good for my mental health, as well as my ability to prevent burnout. The games I play help me think, giving my creative brain a chance to freely run wild, and I just… have fun.
There’s no end result other than enjoyment.
Practicing happiness without worrying about if I “earned it” is the hardest battle I currently face as a person and professional. So even if some folks might not think playing video games is productive… it has been for me.
Be It About Copywriting Or Otherwise—What’s The Point Of All This?
What is the most important reason I’m writing such an out-of-place post about video games?
Because I want to let anyone else know that spending “unproductive” time doing things you love is actually very productive.
Life is about living. When we start businesses, we get so wrapped up in where we “should” be that we don’t stop and enjoy what we’ve already accomplished.
Sure, playing video games does not directly increase my client bookings, or make my copywriting practice faster… but the space I create for “in-the-moment” enjoyment makes space for the energy I need to do those things.
So, if you find yourself really struggling with feelings of overwhelm… or guilt about spending time in front of the tv, playing games, or reading non-business-related materials…
Take this as a sign that guilt is an unproductive emotion… and doing things that bring you joy is what being alive is all about.
Don’t always worry about the future, or what you “should” be doing. Being present and grateful is what’s most important at the end… and while everything we do should have healthy boundaries, don’t deny yourself some fun because you “could” be doing something business-related.
Stop and smell the roses… or play some Animal Crossing with me! 🙂