For those of you who don’t know, I work in advertising. Specifically, I’m a copywriter. As in someone who writes all the words in the ads that you see, hear and try to tune out—not someone who approves copyrights.
And advertising, even advertising at small, way-far-from-glamorous shops like mine, tends to be a stressful business. Especially on the creative side of things. The unspoken rule is, you’re only as good as your last idea. Or at least your last several ideas, since we all royally suck upon occasion, and you have to be forgiven for the occasional bout of suckitude.
Like it or not, you’re also judged on your willingness to kill yourself for the good of the client. To accept insane deadlines, take on more work than you can handle and deliver a stellar product—even if it means you don’t sleep for three days.
I’ve always thrived in that environment. The more pressure you put on me, the better I do. After all, there’s nothing like abject fear to inspire brilliance.
But now? Well, at eight months pregnant, I simply don’t have the energy. I’ve turned down three different projects in the last week and a half, just because I know I’m moving too slowly to juggle more than one or two balls at a time.
And as for ideas? Well, so far I’m doing okay, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before my fogged-up, sleep deprived brain fails to answer the call.
Truth is, I think people are starting to look over and around me. I’ve already been taken off one account (I can’t say I was sorry to see it go, but it still stings).
Soon, I’ll be heading out of the office for twelve whole weeks. That’s three months. A lifetime in the advertising world.
Will anybody remember me by the time I come back? Will I have any clients left? Will I have a job to come back to?
Rationally, I know the answer to all three questions is yes. Even if the answer to the first two questions was no, I am more than capable of reminding everyone at the agency of why they hired me—and how proficient I am at kicking ass.
But I’m a quivering mass of insecurity at the best of times. Add in those fabled pregnancy hormones and you’ve got…well, you’ve got a mess, that’s what you’ve got.
Is it any wonder it took me ten years to get brave enough to take this step?