Matt Fenwick from True North Content
Who are you Matt Fenwick?
I run True North Content, a content strategy and writing consultancy based in Canberra. We create content with value and help other people to do likewise. We love working on big and hairy content projects, such as rewriting the travel advisories for most of the countries in the world. I’m still surprised I get to do this for a living.
What did you do before you became a copywriter?
Lawyer, policy advisor, assistant janitor, contract cleaner, assistant chaplain, freelance journalist, research assistant, sketcher of blackboard illustrations for my Aunty’s school (she paid me $20).
How long have you been copywriting?
It’s kind of like the best friend that you end up dating then marrying. It’s hard to put an exact start date on it, but I’ve been getting paid for writing for 20 years and doing this full-time for seven.
What has been your biggest copywriting career win?
Sitting down at my desk when I’m in the pits of depression or anxiety and still doing good work.
What was your worst copywriting career fail?
The time I was working for a goat wholesale provider and wanted to talk about the degree of freedom accorded to the goat. I wrote “We put a lot of love into each goat”. That was a sign I was getting lazy. I should only write about things I give a shit about.
What are your number one fave copywriting tools?
Otter voice notes for capturing random brain farts.
How do you deal with self-doubt?
Ignore it. I’ve found the less I worry about what I think of myself the more confident I appear. I couldn’t be arsed doing affirmations or anything. I just try to be useful. I even did a TEDx talk about this:
What work-life balance/mental health tips do you have?
Everyone has a set number of hours a day of solid work in them. Find that number and stick to it. Don’t compare yourself to hyper-adrenalised go-getters who work 15 hours a day continuously. They are crumbling inside.
What tip would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?
Find people to team up with. Watch them. Build your confidence. Then do it yourself.
What’s next for you?
Deciding which form of carbs I’m going to order from Uber eats.
Why do you love TCCS?
Because you are my people. Because you gave me a place to vent and be weird and be loved.