‘It’s no fairytales and other crap about how beautiful and easy everything is.’

Hi! Welcome to Clattermouth, the newsletter where I, Kaz Marston, professional writer and person who almost always manages to wear matching socks, talk openly and honestly about what it’s like to make a career out of writing, including all the gritty bits most people don’t like to talk about. Actually, it’ll probably be mostly gritty bits. This is not a success story. It’s a claw-my-way-back-up-after-I-intentionally-sabotaged-my-own-business story.

At the end of 2018, I closed down the modestly successful copywriting brand I’d spent six years building. Somewhere along the way, I’d become someone who made a living from teaching courses about how to make a living from copywriting instead of continuing to make a living doing it myself. I didn’t like what that meant about me, so I walked away from it.

I returned to my roots and spent my time working quietly in the background on copywriting projects for clients. But after a couple of years of doing nothing but that, I knew I wanted more. And that’s what Clattermouth is really about – how to build a meaningful and enjoyable career around writing, not just one that pays the bills and garners compliments like ‘was able to pick up quite diverse sets of data and translate them into accessible outputs’. I mean… what? Thank you, but huh?

Sure, I’ll spill the gossip about how I make money from copywriting – but I’ll also be experimenting with different ways to earn a living from writing (this newsletter being one of them) and sharing everything I learn here. Exploring fiction and self-publishing, pitching essays and articles, expanding my editing services. Creating new courses that aren’t about copywriting. Marrying into a rich family and tricking them into publishing my work through an extortionate vanity press. I’ll write about it all here – the things that work and the things that don’t.

About me, aka !!! A WARNING !!!

I’m not necessarily the most inspirational writer to follow. I’m unproductive, like, 70% of the time. I get through too many video games and not enough books. I have not, nor will I ever, hustle. I don’t have a five-year plan or an emergency fund. I absolutely wing it pretty much all the time, getting by only on a staunch belief in myself, my talent, and the vague notion that things will work out okay.

I judge everything on gut feeling and can’t stick to a schedule to save my life. I can only make myself work if I feel like it or if a deadline is about to slap me in the face. If I NNNEeeEEEeeEeeDDd!!! to get work done, I go to a cafe, cuz that’s the only way it’s happening. Forcing myself to do work I don’t want to do feels like wrenching my soul out through my chest, crumpling it into a ball and tossing it out the window on a rainy day, after which I slump limply over my keyboard.

I wake up every day and go, Hmm, what do I feel like doing today? And two hours later I’ll have changed my mind. I never know what I’m going to do until I’m doing it. This is true on a minute-by-minute basis. However, once I start doing something, I’ll generally do it until it’s done. I’ve got that going for me, at least. I get obsessed with things way too easily, which can be great when the thing I’m hyper focused on is my work and I do it for 12 hours straight every day until it’s finished. Less great when that thing is a 300-hour playthrough of Skyrim.

Sometimes I don’t get dressed until, like, 5pm, or even at all. I guess that’s normal now, but I was like that pre-pandemic, too. Welcome to my world, bitches. It’s comfy. Also, occasionally I buy those £1 microwaveable doner kebabs you can get in the frozen section at the supermarket.

GIVE ME YOUR MONEY, or don’t, it’s all good 🤷🏻‍♀️

I send out two kinds of emails: one for everyone and one for paying subscribers only.

The newsletter for paying subscribers goes out weekly and covers the kind of things I mentioned above: the gritty stories, the inside scoop, the latest messes I’ve gotten myself into.

The free newsletter goes out somewhat weekendly and features a curated list of excellent shit to check out while you drink your morning coffee and ignore your worldly responsibilities. It includes articles, books, podcasts, videos, games – you know the drill – plus anything I’ve published myself.

Want in? Just hit the Subscribe button at the bottom of this page. Or the top of this page. Wherever it is. I know it’s round here somewhere.

My readers say nice things about me so I don’t have to

You’re totally honest and I love to read and feel what you’re going through as a professional writer. It’s no fairytales and other crap about how beautiful and easy everything is. I see how you change your mind, how you struggle and find your answers. It just reminds me – I am not different. We are all humans.

– Anon

Your advice is some of the most realistic, empathetic, actionable and actually hilarious stuff I’ve come across.

– Ada

I love your intolerance for all things bullshit. Thanks for being alive and dishing out your good shit. Fan for life.

– Suzanne

Thanks for consistently putting good shit in my inbox. You are literally the only newsletter type thing I read all the way to the end every time.

– Sarah

I love your emails! They’re entertaining and include useful stuff I actually want to read. So it’s the only one out of all the emails I’m signed up to that I actually look forward to opening.

– Dawn

You’re awesome. I love your emails and admire your vulnerability. I appreciate what you do!

– Lindsey

I just had to tell you that I love reading your emails! I love your honest voice and always find something to think about from you.

– Rajashree

You’re flippant, funny, and totally awesome. I enjoy your adventures and insights.

– Amy

Feeling overwhelmed by life, I was busily unsubscribing from email lists, and your words jumped out at me. Clearly I didn’t hit that unsubscribe link as I had planned to.

– Rachel

I read every email. Your emails aren’t just ‘Hey, here’s my new post/course/e-book/webinar!’ You actually talk about being human. I suppose most people would feel too embarrassed to build a brand that way. We’re always told that our professional appearance should be more buttoned-up. Which means no swearing, no talking about the meaning of life and definitely no admitting to staying in your pyjamas all day.

– Anon

You are one of the few newsletters I subscribe to and actually read because you are real, honest and share your personal struggles.

– Anon

I LOVE getting your emails because they make me laugh, and they come just enough to keep me updated on everything you have been up to.

– Anon

Something about Kaz’s personality makes me NOT stop reading her articles. She has a no-BS attitude, and her writing speaks for her and what she does – and how good she is at it.

– Azelle

Yes! Loving this! I didn’t realise how much I missed your newsletters. Great to see you back in my inbox. I just subscribed for more potty-mouthed insights.

– Graeme