English Copywriter in Paris: unexpected inspiration and chocolate brioche

A lot has already been written and re-written about both copywriting and freelancing.

And, I’m not claiming to be a world expert or to revolutionise the subject. This would be a little presumptuous, especially as I only set out my freelance writing adventure a few short weeks ago.

Rather, I’d like to think of this a collection of first impressions or preliminary sketches.

I’d done a fair bit of copywriting, but always with the reassuring lifeline of a permanent contract. One day I decided that it was high time I moved off this comfortable creative cushion in order put my copywriting and business skills to the test. Aside from flexible working hours and no daily commute, this was a chance to orientate my writing in the direction I wanted it to go.

In this very short space of time, I’ve had a couple of early revelations.

Firstly, that inspiration comes at most unexpected times. I hit upon the idea of freelancing whilst staring out of the grimy window of a Parisian metro (Line 1, Gare de Lyon, to be precise). Underground tunnels and cabling hardly make for inspirational viewing, but it seemed to work for me.

gare de lyon

Secondly, that creativity is a lot like rain. It comes in drizzles, pitter patters and raging torrents. I can never tell when it will start or stop, so must always be prepared with a notebook close at hand. Droughts happen and in this case the best thing to do is write. Something. Anything. There is nothing more terrifying the prospect of an empty page. Incidentally, for this very reason, I’ve become an unconditional fan of brainstorming.

Finally, that it’s the little things I miss about my old content manager job. Although I’m sure that there will be moments when my new colleague-less and structure-less life will be lonely and perhaps overwhelming, but so far my main regrets are as follows:

–          My old desk chair of the most comfortable, adjustable and reclinable kind – my own humble wooden chair just doesn’t meet the high standard.


–          Walking to work and stopping for a chocolate covered brioche at my favourite bakery, (sadly, I have yet to locate a suitably delicious substitute).


It’s early days yet, but the first signs are promising – I’ve already learnt a lot about dirty windows, rain and desk chairs.  Now, if only I could find that perfect chocolate brioche….


About englishcopywriterinparis

Passionate about language, I write my days away with freelance projects, blogs and general musings.
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