My 3 strategies for utilizing my disabilities as they relate to copywriting.
By Vic Martinez
Now that I’ve stopped drinking for nearly four months, the question I always get is, “How do you feel?”
“I’m less anxious,” is my answer. “More relaxed and better focused when it comes to completing tasks. Aside from my friends referring to me as Saint Vic and my wife calling me a mock-o-holic, I’ve shed a few hang-ups and become, I like to think, more friendly. Quitting drinking has put me to the test. But by staying on the right track, my path will only get easier.”
Spasticity has been My Roadblock to Success
Because of my stroke nearly eight years ago, the right side of my body is spastic (partially paralyzed), including my facial muscles. This makes it difficult for me to talk.
It’s quite the speech impediment. I’m prone to stuttering, stammering and having to repeat myself. It’s called apraxia and is compounded by my aphasia, which creates short-term memory issues.
Consequently, I get stage fright when speaking, except with my family or close friends. With strangers, however, I can blather on. When I’m in stressful situations where lots of intricate language is involved, I tend to panic. Speech therapy and yoga help.
It’s important to communicate effectively to develop relationships with clients. It helps if you’re verbal or able to sign, or so I used to think. Now, I’m thinking all that I need is a good partner to represent me.
When My Mind Goes Blank, I Shrug it Off
During a conversation, when I think I’m on a roll, I’ll slam into this phonetic wall. My mind goes blank and I can’t think of anything else to say. I’m struck by the wall’s immensity. Hemming and hawing can’t save me. Sometimes, there’s no way around it.
For example, if I can’t remember the word car, I’ll try getting around the wall by describing the word. The thing people ride in when they travel and expect my listener to guess. Either that or I slump back and shrug my shoulders as if to say, please bear with me, friend, I’m stuck. And then abandon my unfinished thought, altogether.
My Three Strategies for Short-term Success
- Find the Right Partner It finally dawned on me that I needed some help, i.e., a business partner to be my mouthpiece. This way when I locate copywriting work, I’ll have someone who can get on the phone with the prospect to negotiate terms of a contract. That person would have to be somebody who is aware of my capabilities. I’ll explain things as well as I can, but my partner has to fill in the blanks.
In late July, Rogelio, my long-time pal from El Paso, called to ask me if I knew anything about AWAI, the copywriting outfit. I shared that I had finished their Six-Figure Copywriting course and mentioned that I could use help talking to prospective clients. A light flicked on in both our heads! Right then and there, we decided to team-up, potentially as B2B writers specializing in the daunting white paper.
- Use What I Already Have Over the years my wife and I have accumulated a few websites. It started with her Canary in the Kitchen, and from there to HandySports, AustinFemart, Heart of Texas Copywriter, FabriksArt, Patric Carter photographer, Urban-access, and Small Wonders Entertainment 501(c)(3). Since there are eight total, the first job to consider is which websites to focus on.
I’m trying to figure out ways to monetize at least three of them. To do that, I’ll have to find affiliates. But I’m so busy with the writing that I don’t have time. I asked my partner if he has worked with affiliates before, and he assured me he had. That will be his job, then.
- Continue My Sobriety Sobriety has freed me up to take more responsibility for my time. No longer does everything revolve around booze.
In yoga, I’ve found my spiritual path. Thanks to breathing exercises, OT, stretching, poses, and meditation, I have my stroke symptoms under control for the first time in nearly eight years.
I’m more realistic and intuitive about how scenarios are going to play out, both in social settings and professional dealings.
As a result of sobriety, I sense a more successful future: where confidence and risk-taking are the norm, and self-doubt is kept at bay. It’s also made me realize how lucky I am to still be in this game.
Readers can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.