Jo Watson fell into teaching after being told she wasn’t clever enough to study law and that to get into journalism she needed a different degree to the one she had. She loved her first-year placement, and did really well, but at her second school her experience was not so good. She was stifled in her teaching freedom and because of that lost her enthusiasm for the job.
When she left that school with no new job to go to, she once again fell into a placement, this time at a football club, where her creative approach and ideas were more highly valued – until she moved into leadership, that is.
Within these roles she achieved a lot for her employers with her writing, and yearned to have more control over her achievements and successes.
And so . . . the story continues.
Clubhouse: @clairewaitebrown and Creativity Found Connect club
Artworks: Emily Portnoi emilyportnoi.co.uk
And I was told I wasn't clever enough. And I wish I would have pushed a bit more I wish I would have said, No, I am I am clever, I am gonna go for this. For such a long time I was given free rein to just do it. If I had a creative idea, they'd let me run with it. I was waking up crying, and I was going to bed crying. It was it was all for my role no longer involved. working creatively. I feel creating something is therapy is just absolutely beautiful, and has a wonderful effect on your mental health. My business was my lifeline and the fact that it was a creative one. It gave me an outlet. And I think some of my best writing for clients and for myself came out of that time because I was able to just put everything into it because I needed an outlet.Claire Waite Brown:
Hi, I'm Claire, founder of creativity found a community for creative learners in educators, connecting adults who want to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them do so with workshops, courses, online events and kits. For this podcast, I chat with people who have found or refound their creativity as adults, we explore their childhood experiences of the arts, discuss how they came to the artistic practices they now love. And consider the barriers they may have experienced between the two. We'll also explore what it is that people value and gain from their newfound artistic pursuits, and how their creative lives enrich their practical, necessary everyday lives. For this episode, I'm speaking with Joe Watson, who has always brought creativity into her career roles in teaching and sports education, in schools, colleges, prisons, and in Grenada in the Caribbean. More recently, she has concentrated on her way with words, and has a unique outlook on the similarities between starting a business and bringing up the baby. Hi, Joe.Unknown:
Hello, Claire, thank you for having me. You're very welcome. And congratulations on your award, by the way, because I've not spoken to you since you became this celebrity, this award winning podcaster.Claire Waite Brown:
Thank you very much. Very proud. Thank you. You have worked as a teacher and for a football club more about that later. But have now found your own creative style which you use professionally. What is it? You do?Unknown:
I'm a copywriter. And nobody ever knows what that means. Including my mother, despite the fact that I've been doing this professionally for about seven or eight years. It basically means I write for businesses. So whenever you see any marketing materials out there or a fantastic advert or even just some content that's written on a website, chances are they've had a skilled copywriter involved to make sure that the the messaging is nice and memorable and exciting and engaging and causes people to buy or go out and take action and do something. So. So that's what I do. It's nothing to do with the law, as a lot of people think is they think I can help them with copyright law. I really can't. But I'm also writing my own book as well. And I know everyone's writing their own book these days. But given the fact that I am a writer, it just makes sense that I do go down that that route and and put something book like together. So I've got a business slash parenting book on the go. So hopefully that will go well.Claire Waite Brown:
How exciting. Everybody's doing podcasts as well at the moment.Unknown:
Yeah, and the thing is, it becomes so saturated, but you know yourself, that you're keeping the standards high, and you're doing it as it should be done. And I think we have to do that in any creative industry we find ourselves in we've got to make sure we don't fall to the generic level that is out there. So you know, your podcast is just going to be a one every single time. I know that this book is going to be nothing short of perfect because I've got to treat myself like a client. And think you know, if someone was paying me for this, would I be happy for that to go out there? So yeah, we keep the standards high clear, or we try toClaire Waite Brown:
that is a really good point well made. What were your creative experiences like as a child, both at home and in education?Unknown:
I was very quiet at school. So I wasn't creative in a in an open and confident sense. I wasn't thrust onto the stage or anything like that. But, but I did love to write. And everyone always says, oh, what stories did you write about? I didn't write stories though. I have no doubt I probably did. But I liked things that were a little bit edgier. So I wrote a lot of poems, and from what I recall, and from what people tell me, including my head teacher, who I'm still in contact with, and my mom and dad and relatives, you kept copies of things. They were quite dark and quite darkly funny. So it seems that this sense of humour that I try to get across in my work as a copywriter for other people, it seems it was it was always there or trying to come out. So yes, I'd write these poems that you'd you probably look at them and think, oh, that's brilliant. And then you think, Oh, my God, she was nine. That's a bit worried. But you know what, I'm okay. I'm not in prison. I've, I've not been sued for anything. I've not got myself into trouble. But I was I was just quite edgy and subversive, I guess. But I also liked writing letters. And I remember going for like a school council position and getting up and having to deliver this manifesto that I'd put together myself. So. So I loved all that I loved all the writing that I felt I could be creative with. But it would actually serve a purpose as well, it would get me something that I wanted, or I needed. That's pretty much what I did through primary and secondary, and I was quite well known for it. But of course, all the cool kids just thought I was a geek. But I was a I was a bit of a star at primary with that kind of thing. But then I think in secondary, I was a bit more middle of the road. College. I just Yeah, I underperformed significantly. It just got worse. I think Claire as things went on, because I wasn't, I wasn't channelling what I was good at either. So, for example, I wanted to be a lawyer by the time I got to university level. And I was told I wasn't clever enough. And I wish I would have pushed a bit more I wish I would have said no, I am I am clever. I am going to go for this. But I just kind of believe that I wasn't clever enough. And I did English language. And whilst you would think that would help me massively as a copywriter it it doesn't it was it was studying someone else's English, essentially. And I want it to be writing my own. I want it to be more creative with mine, you know, seen as I wasn't clever enough to be at that lawyer. So I feel like I kind of settled and, and coasted. And if I was to have my time again, I don't think I'd go to university. So, which is a controversial statement?Claire Waite Brown:
Yeah. Yeah. No, I think that's fair enough. And for the time, and it still is today, it was encouraged that that would what you would you would do and it's kind of expected if you're of a certain academic level that you go to university, regardless. Yeah. As you said, You've did English language. How did you? How did you come to be a teacher,Unknown:
I realised in the middle of my English language degree that it wasn't going to get me anywhere as a degree. And that was those 20 years ago. Now today, it's even worse, you know, you come out with a degree now, you fit for nothing. Really, you need to have so much more experience, you need to have done internships, you need to have so much volunteering under your belt. That degree is just not enough. And I knew at the time, it wasn't going to get me anywhere, because I thought, well, I might be a journalist. And I got told oh, no, you have to do a degree in actual journalism for that. And of course, by that time, it was it was too late. So I graduated, on infused really, and I started working for a playscheme over the summer, just because it was close to my house or close to my mom and dad's house, really. And it was I don't know if I'm allowed to say this, but it was cash in hand. And when you're 21, that's what you are. So I was working for these playscheme. And I thought, despite never having had an interest in working with kids, or not really liking kids very much. I was very good at it. It seemed I had this ability to let the kids have a great time. But I was also very good with structure in activity so that they learn and they did achieve and in turn feel good about themselves. So that same employer just said to me, right, well, you're gonna go into teaching. And I was like, No, I'm not. And he said, Well, what are you going to do? And I thought, well, well, that's that's a great question. Because I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do. And he said, I want you to get into teaching. I've got you an interview at a school to be a teaching assistant, you go in on Monday. Thought right, fine. went and did it and this is gonna sound awful. But when I was in there as a TA, I'm a teaching assistant. I was thinking I could do this better and a no, that's an awful thing to say. But I think we've all done things. You know, we've all been in some kind of scenario where we thought oh, I do that differently. I do it better. I've got a different way of doing this that To be more effective, so I thought, well, maybe maybe teaching is for me. So I applied. I got in. I loved my studies. I loved my teacher training studies, I was told that it was that intense you wouldn't be able to work whilst you were studying. But I did. I had a job as well. And I proved that I was a grafter and and I got it all done. And then I went into teaching. loved my first year, it was excellent. It was a lovely little rural primary school. And then I went into a totally different school altogether for my second year, and pretty much jacked the profession in after that. It was It was awful. I just realised how much it's not about the kids, sadly. And it's not about education. It's about box ticking, bureaucracy and politics. And they are three things that are about as far removed as creative as I can think, Claire.Claire Waite Brown:
I know I've certainly heard from other people, it can be difficult to be creative within your teaching itself within those stipulations of curriculum and Ofsted and whatnot.Unknown:
Yes, yeah, it was. I've got to be honest, though. Ofsted wasn't really the problem for me. Now. I, I had an offset he was about to come in, and she loved my session. And yet, I remember the head teacher at the time, who was also in at the same time, which I thought was awful. By the way, I thought, How dare you send an Ofsted inspector in which I know they've you've got to let them you can't say no. But I was so annoyed that the head teacher came in as well and sat at the back with the Ofsted inspector. That was massive pressure. And I was still such a young teacher as well. So I hated that. But that was pretty much his style. He was in fact that a massive bully, you ended up getting struck off about a year later. So that made me feel a lot better about things. Although this Ofsted inspector would have said my session was great. My record keeping was fantastic. All good stuff, my head teacher did not like it one bit. And he didn't like the creativity. Because I would do things in the observed session. And just in general, where I'd get the kids out and about or I'd say right, we're going in the hall, or going out onto the field, we're going to go and have a bit of maths in you know, outside of the classroom, or we're going to do a bit of English across the curriculum, walking around somewhere else. And he didn't like that, because he believed that all education should be about recording things in books. So having calculations having sentences, he didn't believe in the power of a creative education or an expressive one, such as arts and music. And you know, pe even II just just didn't believe in it at all. And it just made for a very, very toxic workplace where the children were just little exam factories. And it was it was horrible, absolutely horrible. Because there was some real talent there that we could have explored, or given those less academic children the chance to try and shine at something. And he just took it all away. It was it was horrendous. But I'm glad in a way because had he not been so dreadful, in stifling creativity of his kids. And of me, as a professional, I may steal wellbeing, teaching, just coasting and just getting by and I think,Claire Waite Brown:
yeah, it's sad for the children. And as we know, different children learn in different ways. So it's a shame that in some places, you can't bring that variety in. So how did speaking of variety, how did football come into play?Unknown:
Oh God, a question. I asked myself almost daily. Because I've got, I've got no idea at all because I hated football. I hated watching it. I hated play in it. I was always more than happy for my kids to play it, of course, but I'll just tell you a funny story about it in my first teaching placements. The teacher who was taking the five aside, kids in year six to the weekly fireside games after school, it was it was a lady and she was ill. So I had to step in and take over. And my husband was laughing at me because he came along to support and he said, I'll help you because he was a football coach at the time. And he said I'll come along and help you. And he was like trying to give them proper tactics and you know, develop their sportsmanship and give them some ideas to sharpen up their football. And I was just they're going score more goals. They've scored more goals than you so you're not gonna win, go back and score more goals than them and he was like, Joe, that that's not a tactic. And I was like, Yeah, but but it makes sense, isn't it you know, they're, they're losing. They need not to be go and sport score more goals and you'll be fine and they weren't there. Add to that day I've just like held it over him. But you know what you're you're wasting your time with all this coaching and nurturing stay, because you just need to tell them to score more goals. And if that's all I need to just go just go out and win whatever you're doing now that isn't working, change it that was my experience of football. So not exactly the most professional or, or skilled or filled with expertise. But when I was in that second teaching year, and it was it was so horrendous, like I said, But it got me to a point where I thought I'm leaving. And I don't want to be in teaching anymore. He'd killed any joy that was left in it for me. And a friend at the time was working at a professional football club. And she said, Well, the club I'm at have an education department, why don't you just come and have a look around and see if it might work for you. So I called up I had a lot rounder quite liked it. I liked the idea that they had a community education programme, because I didn't know that football clubs did that. And it turns out that the club I was at was kind of a pioneer for it really. And it surprise you because it isn't one of the big names at all, it really wasn't. But they were doing so much with education. And I thought I like this, I really do like it. So I applied, I got an interview. And they said you haven't got it. But we liked you. And we think you can bring a lot to a role here. So we're going to create a role for you, which was wonderful to hear. So yeah, so I ended up working there for about six or seven years. And it was out in the community. So I'd go out into schools and do sports related curriculum work with the kids. So it might be kids who were failing in English, or not reaching their potential in English, but we could infuse them through sport and the power of the football club itself, because it was a very well supported club within the town that it was based in. So it really served as a hook. And then on a standard day, we would get schools coming from all over the country, to spend a day with us with our teachers on our facility, which was actually inside the stadium. And they could do anything, we get nursery kids coming in to do artwork. And we'd get a level kids coming in to do business studies days where they'd meet with the CEO of the club, or the head of HR. And then you know, do case studies about things that have happened in the actual club. So it was always real life learning. It was just the definition of a creative education. And I thrived. I really did. I loved it, Claire, it was so much fun, working in so many different subjects with different school aged children, kids from different backgrounds and abilities. It was amazing. And to be honest, the only reason I left there was because I got a promotion. And then sadly realised that if you're a woman at a senior level in professional football, you're not going to have a very nice time. And so I did it for a year to get a year's leadership and management under my belt. But no, I had to go women were not respected, they're still not in professional football. I'm very, very sad to say. So I just didn't want to stay there. I got told by another woman in leadership there who said grow a thick skin just be more male in your thinking and the thought I don't want to be I don't want to grow with thick skin. I'm perfectly happy with the one I mean, I don't want to change who I am. For the sake of this job. I want to be me. So I just left and that's when I started setting up my my own business as a copywriter. I just thought what am I good at? What do people say I'm good at what skill have I always use that's always lead to a result in getting something so funding or some kind of response from someone that to give me or wherever I was working, you know, a positive outcome. I thought I'm good at writing. And so I'm going to do this this is this is what I'm going to do now I'm going to hang up my my teaching super cave and go do my own thing. So that's that's pretty much it. But all the way through it clear. I had no idea about football at all. I could not have told you any of the players. I couldn't tell you any of the rules. Or I just I just couldn't I was I was dreadful. But I said that the interview when they said have you got any questions. I said, Yeah, I know nothing about football. Will that be a problem? And they said at least you're honest.Claire Waite Brown:
Yeah. But it's more about it's about the engagement, isn't it? And it's exactly what you were talking about when you were at the school. Engaging the different pupils in different ways in creative ways. And sport is a is a creative way because it's not there. As you know you wouldn't normally think to use sport in your English lesson. But it's those ways of engaging the different elements different age groups that different education standards and the levels and the subjects and stuff.Unknown:
Absolutely. There's loads. I mean, once once you have one idea to link how a football match can tie into helping someone with their English GCSE, it all starts flowing, and you think of loads of things, you can do it. It's so much fun. And like I said, for such a long time, I was given free rein to just do it. If I had a creative idea. They'd let me run with it. And it saw me actually, before I got promoted, and was working under a different person, and all of that before all that. I said, I want to go work in prisons. I said, I want to go run a project in prisons, and they let me and I also said, I wanted to go and work with one of our players in his charity, I wanted to set up an education arm for his charity. And within a month, I found myself on the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada, setting up a teacher training programme. And the reason it was there was a very big learning curve in terms of you know, you don't ask you don't get and I just yet, I went up to the player in question at an event and set his name's Jason Roberts. He's absolutely lovely. He's got a fantastic foundation. And I said, Do you do any education work in your community foundation, and he went, No. And he said, in fact, over in Grenada, where I'm from, you don't even have to be a qualified teacher. So a lot of people don't have the skills to be a teacher over there. And I said, I can put something together, I'll create a teacher training and development programme. And so yeah, when I went out there,Claire Waite Brown:
creativity found.co.uk is the place to go to find workshops, courses, supplies, kits, and books to help you get creative. So if you're looking for your own creativity, found experiment, go have a browse to see what's on offer so far. And if you can help adults to find their new creative passion, please get in touch on social media, or through the contact details on the website. Going back to having gone, that being promoted and being in quite a dire position, then, and then you've just quite happily said, so that's when I went off and did copywriting. Was that what it was like? You just went? Oh, yes, no, I'm gonna go and do this.Unknown:
Well, I wish I could say, Yes, it was, you know, they'll inspire all of your listeners to think, yeah, I don't like my job, I'm just gonna quit and go and do something. Don't do that. It's much better to take a more staggered approach to it. So what I did is, by the end of that year, in management, I was waking up crying, and I was going to bed crying. It was It was awful. My role no longer involved, working creatively, and everything was just political, and horrible, and sexist, and, and just awful. So I did the unthinkable. And I quit. Now, I would have always been the person that would say you never quit something unless you've got something else lined up. Because I do believe that is the sensible thing to do. But I did, I just quit, I have nothing else. And I quit. And then I went on holiday, because I thought, right, I've, I've been too depressed to spend any of the money I've earned. So I'm, I'm going to go on a nice holiday, we went to a lovely hotel, in the Canaries, and it was beautiful. And when I was there, I thought I might look at setting up a business, because my husband had been working in his own business since he graduated uni. So he had loads of experience of what it was like to set up to run and to develop a great business. So I had a good person there to kind of help me. But I wasn't ready to just go right. I'm a businesswoman. Let's see how I get on. So I started looking for other jobs that I could have just to balance things out so that I could build the business. But I'd also have an income coming in as well. Someone I knew through my former job in football, put me in contact with someone who was setting up a business of their own in sports education, which Hello, I just spent the last six or seven years and he was setting up his own business. He needed someone to head off education. It really was the perfect role for me. So my plan was right. I'm going to do this for a few years, and I'm going to build my business along alongside and, and that's what I did. I got to I think I did three years. I loved every minute of it. But every time I did something good or did something well, or we got funding, or we achieved results or targets or we got a good observation or whatever. My boss would always book a holiday or turn up in a new car or just go off For the afternoon and play golf, and I thought, well, that's his right, because that's his business. And he's enjoying the spoils. And I thought, well, I want that for myself. The time is now for me to take what I've built in the background, and go full on with it, I'm gonna do it. Because if I can be successful for someone else's business, I know I can be successful for mine if I give it all the time, and all the focus that it needs. So I was scared, but I left I thought, I'm gonna do this. I feel like I'm in a good pace. I built a portfolio, it builds reputation. I already had a client base. And everything was fantastic for about three weeks. And then I got really sick. And I thought, Oh, God, what, what's what's wrong? I was I was also not many people know this. I was also fostering teenagers at the time. I don't know why I clearly felt that quitting my job and trying to start a business just wasn't enough of a challenge. Glad. So I was I was a foster carer for teenagers at the time, which was really tough. And I honestly thought I was sick because of the stress of that. But it turns out, I was pregnant. And I spent the first nine months of my business throwing up every day, essentially, because I had that Julius morning sickness that didn't stop in the morning, and didn't go after the first trimester. I had it all day, every day for about a year, maybe nine months. I'll never let my child forget what she put me. Right. I made it work. Because I had no choice. I thought, well, I'm pregnant. We do want a child. We didn't plan on it at this point. But I also want this business and I can't go back now. No one's going to employ me. I have to see this through. So the business is still alive. Five years on, the baby is still alive. Five years old. I'm still alive five years on. And honestly, I couldn't I couldn't be happier. It did on paper. It was dreadful. Everything happened in all at that time. But in reality, I think I think it's worked for the best I really do.Claire Waite Brown:
That's brilliant. Absolutely perfect. So what do you think makes you a good copywriter? Because you obviously are you're making a success of this? And how does that translate to starting to write more for yourself, which you mentioned you were doing at the beginning?Unknown:
So yeah, like I said, I'd always enjoyed writing for myself, especially if I felt that it was going to lead to an outcome. So I remember I used to write job application letters for people when I was in high school. And so you know, members of my family would go and get a job. And I'd see how happy they were that they'd got an interview off the back of this letter that I'd written for them that helped them sell themselves. Because when we're writing our own stuff, we struggle to sell ourselves, we don't like it. We're British, we don't like to boast. We don't like to brag too much. I know on social media, there's a lot of people proven exactly the opposite right now. But yeah, we're just not very good generally at selling ourselves. And so I found that I was good at finding all the good in people and the things they were good at and turning it into this thing that would sell them on paper. And I saw people getting jobs, I was writing letters of complaint for people, like you know, they'd been on a holiday and something had gone wrong. And I was writing letters to the holiday companies. And these people were getting vouchers and free holidays back in return. And I started seeing the power of language, and what it could do what a few well chosen words, and a few well chosen and structured paragraphs could do to have power and influence to effect a change or to effect an action that someone would make to give you something that you wanted or needed. So I was fascinated by that. And I knew I was good at it. I was I was dreadful at a lot of things. But I was I was really good at that I was happy to be a geek. So I think because I've always done it. I've always enjoyed it. It meant that I wasn't having to find a skill and hone it to form this business. I was just doing something that I was already doing anyway. It's just that now I was getting paid for it. And I think what makes me successful with it now is that I'm not afraid to be a bit edgy. I don't want people paying me their hard earned cash for me to churn out something that any copywriter could do. I don't want them to look at it and go, Oh, that's well written. I want them to look at it and go, Wow, that made me feel something or that made me want to do something. So I get a lot of my clients saying, Oh my God, I've just read what you've written for my wife. sight, I want to buy my own stuff now. It's so It's lovely, it's lovely that I can give that edge, I can add that personality into what people are doing. And I can, I can just put people in a in a great position to sell themselves, and to sell their products and services, so that they can go off and build a great business the way I hopefully have. So it's just, it's just a lot of fun. It really is. Sometimes I sit there and think, I can't believe I get paid for this. So it's nice. I feel like I've, I've worked hard to get here. But now I'm here. I'm enjoying it. And I'm not afraid to say so.Claire Waite Brown:
Brilliant. Tell me a bit more about the book that you're writing, and how you manage your time between writing for clients and writing your book.Unknown:
Oh, okay. Well, the book, it's called, why running your business is child's play. And it's kind of a parenting book. It's kind of a business book. But overall, I've written it just because I think it's, it's going to be a little bit of fun. For anyone who at some point in their life has been where I was in the sense that they were running a business or trying to set up a business, and they had a baby or a small child. At the same time, it doesn't matter which one came first, or if they did what I did, and both happened right at the same time. I just think people are gonna read it and go, Oh, yeah, I yeah, that resonates with me, I think people are gonna laugh, enjoy it, and maybe get some helpful advice out of it. Because my point in writing it is to draw parallels between why running a business is exactly the same as raising a small child and vice versa. And how we can learn lessons from our kids as well. So how we can look at the things our two year old might be doing and how they might behave and be behaving. And then we can think, Well, can I apply some of that to what I'm doing? I'm not saying have tantrums in front of you, or your clients or anything like that. But I think there's some things you can you can learn from your toddler's. So I've been having a lot of fun playing around with that there's a publishing deal on the table. But I've just really enjoyed it. I've really enjoyed writing that. And the way I've developed my business over the years, certainly since the pandemic is that I've been more selective about how do I take on with clients? Do I love the person who's coming to me? Do I love what they do? And am I going to enjoy crafting this copy or this content for what it is they specifically want in need? And if the answer to any of those questions is no, I don't work with them, I politely decline, and I maybe put them in contact with a colleague who I think could be a perfect fit for them. And that's given me it's given me time to work on my own stuff, whether it's writing my book, writing articles for any publications, I'd write love writing my own blog is just for my own therapy, really, I think because writing is such a creative thing. It is therapeutic. And I don't think any of us in a creative industry would ever go against that and say it's not if you're creating something, it is therapy, it is just absolutely beautiful, and has a wonderful effect on your mental health. So I'm very much enjoying and benefit from having enough time to work on my own stuff. Because I'm not taking on every project that comes my way. And I tend to find that because I do believe a little in the law of attraction. Because I'm saying no to a lot of projects and clients. All the good ones are gravitating more to me as though to say that you're the copywriter were supposed to work with so I tend to get the best clients and the ones who were who were serious about it and throw some money behind it because the the only downside of copywriting is that largely it is massively undervalued as a skill set in the world of marketing so you'll get people who will happily pay 20,000 pounds for a website. Yet when it comes to having the actual words on it that are going to sell the stuff they They want it for free. They don't understand why they should pay anything, nevermind hundreds or 1000s. Even if it's just a fraction of what they paid for the website itself. Yeah, I'mClaire Waite Brown:
glad you've come to that arrangement and that that arrangement with yourself and that understanding it comes up financial value of creative activities comes up a lot with my guests. And I'm also pleased that you touched on the therapeutic nature of the writing that you've been able to get that kind of release from it. And that extra bit of mental emotional well being that being allowed to allowing yourself to do that creative activity can give youUnknown:
it's such a boost Claire, and as I said, you know, I was starting all this whilst pregnant. And whilst I was I was sick. But mentally I was absolutely fine. But when when Lily arrived, I didn't have postnatal depression, thank goodness. But I did develop anxiety, something that I'd never experienced before. I didn't know what it was. It was awful. And I didn't naturally go into motherhood with ease. I wasn't overly maternal. Nowadays, you know, she's, she's my best friend, I can't imagine being without, and yeah, she drives me up the wall. That's what kids do. But she is absolutely everything to me. But for those first few months, I was not enjoying myself and I found everything very, very difficult. I was not in a good place. So in having time when she was with her dad, because we split it between us. Like I said, when she was born, I was still working, I didn't have that time off, I didn't have that maternity leave, I went back into work for myself. But I needed that clear because I needed that distance from the baby where I could be me. And I could do something that would be massively therapeutic, and keep my brain ticking over and remind me that I was good at something, I had control over something. And that I could just enjoy it, I could I could put my feelings out there into the world in a way that I knew I could best articulate them. And so it was a lifeline. For me having that, I think had I been in a normal job. And had the nine months maternity leave, I think I'd have really struggled, I think I would have been in a very, very dark and difficult place for a long, long time. So my, my business was my lifeline and the fact that it was a creative one. It gave me an outlet. And I think some of my best writing for clients and for myself came out of that time because I was able to just put everything into it because I needed an outlet. But in line with what you said about pricing, and it comes up because creativity is not valued as as it should be. People can look at you and go, Oh, but you enjoy doing it. So why should I have to pay you? You enjoy it? And you're like, No, no, that's that's not how it works. That's not how life works. Is it if you're good at something, you don't do it for free?Claire Waite Brown:
Yeah. Yeah. I think people artists can also feel guilty for that same reason. Because I'm doing myself I shouldn't be charging people for it.Unknown:
It's like footballers as well. Football is love playing football. No doubt they've played it since they kicked out of the womb and you know, straight onto some kind of tiny tots pitch. They've played it all their life. They love it. They live it, they breathe it, do you think they get to a top club, white man united and go? Poor is on the payroll, love thisClaire Waite Brown:
really good analogy that I really liked. I do understand football after all. That's brilliant. That's a really, really good point. I love it. So back to you. What about your plans for the future? And I know you're still writing the one but have you got ideas for future books going on in there?Unknown:
God? No, no. It's been so hard. I've loved it. I've loved chipping away at the chapters and editing my own work. But it's hard. It's really hard. And when when you're doing it for a client, you're sitting there thinking oh, this this is quite difficult. This is a stumbling block. I didn't foresee but at least I'm getting paid for it you know, at least at least that money that's coming in is paying for we're gonna have a nice little weekend away or or something like that. When you're doing it for yourself. You're very aware of the fact that there's no money coming into the bank account as a result. And certainly when it's published authors do not get a lot of money at all. So if anyone ever thinks oh, I'll be an author and I'll just live off that doesn't work like that you get you get next to nothing, but it is something I still want to do. I know there's It's not gonna be a second book, I need to get this one right. And then I think what I'd prefer clear is, I'd like to be writing for publications, I would like to be writing, you know, a column for a newspaper or a journal or a magazine. I'd like to be doing that. I think so it's, you know, me just putting my thoughts out in a relatively short space. And, you know, just in a shorter word, count them thinking, Oh, my God, I've got another 50,000. Yeah, I think that that's what I need to do. But But no, no, no second book. Let's, let's see me get the first one done first.Claire Waite Brown:
Yeah, no, I quite understand. Thank you very much for all of those insights today. How can people connect with you?Unknown:
Or if, if they're a fan of LinkedIn, then that's the best place to find me. So if you did a search for me, it'd be Joe Watson. And then I've got fancy letters after my name. Because I work damn hard for those fancy letters, I will put them on every written piece of material I can. I'm not massively active on Facebook or anywhere like that. But my website is a good write up.com. There's a mailing list on there, it's got my links to my socials on my blogs are on there. And I know obviously, a lot of creative people will have heard me say LinkedIn and go oh, no, honestly, I think there's a massive place for creatives on LinkedIn, especially people who are who are making physical products, you need to get on LinkedIn, because people on LinkedIn are professional, they've got money. They want bespoke things. They want handmade things. They want things that not many people will have. So they're more likely to say, well, I'll commissioned an artist to paint this for me, for example. So yeah, I'd say get on there because people have got money to spend and that they want nice things that nobody else has got.Claire Waite Brown:
Brilliant. Thank you ever so much, Joe, for speaking with me today. I've had a super time.Unknown:
Well, me too. Thank you so so much. It's been lovely. And I know we've we've had this in my diary for so long. I haven't wait. I've looked forward to it and it has not disappointed. So thank you so much for interviewing me. I really, really appreciate being a guest.Claire Waite Brown:
Oh, thank you. You're so welcome. Thanks so much for listening to creativity found. If your podcast app has the facility, please leave a rating and review to help other people find us on Instagram and Facebook follow at creativity found podcast and on Pinterest look for at creativity found. And finally, don't forget to check out creativity found at CODIT. UK. The website connecting adults who wants to find a creative outlet with the artists and crafters who can help them tap into their creativity.