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A Year in Review - 2023: Unexpected Challenges and a Renewed Focus

For the past couple of years, I have reflected on the year that was and looked ahead to the next. As a part of that process, I carefully choose a single Focus Word to guide my thoughts and intentions for the year ahead. 

In 2022, I began the year with “THRIVE” as my Focus Word. 

And it was a great year. I got engaged, married, and moved to a new home. My family grew, adding two step-daughters to my own son and daughter and their partners. I built a new home office and set it up for the next steps of business growth.

I was clear and focused on growth and opportunity. I landed several new clients (though I prefer to call them partners) and solidified myself as a full-time copywriter and content writer. I didn’t hit the “6-Figure Copywriter” status that seems to dominate the mindset of many. Not even close, but I thrived.

As 2022 closed, I began looking to 2023 with a new resolve. Bigger goals. Bigger ambitions. 

My Focus Word for 2023 was “CHALLENGE.”

I was ready to challenge myself to go beyond my expectations. As I greeted each morning with  CHALLENGE on my computer screen, I reminded myself to push my limits with each new opportunity and to greet the day ready for the next adventure. I had plans to launch an agency dedicated to partnering with nonprofit organizations. I planned to bring on new copywriters and graphic designers to give them an opportunity to grow and commit to a niche market. I was excited for the challenge!

But it turned out that 2023 was an overall challenge.

ChatGPT and AI stormed the world with a vengeance by spring, and everyone got on the AI bandwagon. Businesses and nonprofits thought they had discovered the Holy Grail of writing and no longer needed creative and persuasive copywriters. Copywriters thought they were replaced, and many were.

The client commitments I had for the year began to drop off. Work stopped coming in, and by mid-summer, I wasn’t sure what to do. Every writer I knew was facing the same challenge. Many writers could no longer endure the copy drought and left their laptops to return to traditional employment.

All my agency plans were off the table as my projected income and growth dropped by roughly 70%. That hurt—a lot.

In the final quarter of 2023, after months of struggle, I made my way into a SWOT analysis group with colleagues in The Copywriter Club and the TCC Underground. We reflected on the past several months and planned for the year ahead. I was in good company.

I was struck by a new focus, a renewed focus, and a new framework that captures the essence of who I am, not only as a writer but as a person. 

I shared my concept of Quiet Copywriting and my CASI Framework with other copywriters during a series of networking calls during Q4, and it resonated.

What I heard was writers who want to be honest about themselves and embrace their personality in their approach to business and writing. Writers, including Brittany Downey and Jillian Abelle, are embracing minimalism in writing and business. 

My method of Quiet Copywriting focuses on 4 Principles that create the CASI Framework: Curiosity, Authenticity, Simplicity, and Integrity. 

There’s no need to overcomplicate or manipulate to get results. Genuine connection always rises above. From my office procedures to delivering the finished project, my CASI Framework is present every step of the way, creating a copywriting experience that clients welcome and appreciate. 

As we venture into 2024, my Focus Word is Abundance.

2024 Focus Word

To me, abundance means having plenty of clients, projects, and opportunities to bless others as I am blessed. Abundance is never about greed or accumulation. With blessings - no matter what they are - come responsibilities to steward, give, and serve.

I hope you have a Focus Word for the new year. Look at it daily. Be reminded of your “Why.” Ask yourself, “Why is this my focus word, and are my steps and actions aligned with it?”

I wish you success and joy in 2024, and can’t wait to write for you!

Quiet Copywriting

Curiosity  |  Authenticity  |  Simplicity   |   Integrity 


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