Copywriters’ Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in submitting a final draft – even if it is the seventeenth version and you thought you’d nailed it the first time around. ~

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with the person who sends you a brief. Speak your truth quietly; clearly; listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have a reason for making the long list of features mandatory and cutting that list of unbelievably attractive benefits.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they just get in the way of proofreading. If you compare yourself with other writers, your head will fall off trying to remember if that’s the correct preposition. You may see other people’s copy that takes your breath away, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your published works as well as the printed drafts you turned into notelets so you can capture The Great Novel’s opening sentence at 3am.

Keep interested in your own career, it is not humble; one day, decent copywriting may be the only thing separating man from the monkeys ~

Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of people who’ll try to pay you by the word. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many writers write the PERFECT deck of copy after the client’s version has been signed off, just to prove a point ~

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Or greater prowess than the PR team. Neither be cynical about long copy; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is definitely going to beat the control.

Take kindly the counsel of juvenile delinquents from legal or compliance who amend your copy, gracefully keeping quiet about the fact you’ve seen the regulator’s guidelines and interpreted them correctly ~

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you when the client asks if you really meant to write it that way. Make it a double: make it neat. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears about Courier font are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, go easy on yourself. You are a writer with talent no less than the person who taught you what an interrobang is actually for; you have a right to be here ~

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt your creativity is spilling out upon the page as it should. Therefore be at peace with the Client, whatever you conceive Him to be. And however many drafts you’ve done and late nights you’ve spent hoping the client will take on board the need for a proper brief, keep peace in your soul.

With all its misplaced apostrophes, jargon and dangling past-participles, English is still a beautiful language ~

Be cheerful. Write to be happy.