There was an old The New Yorker cartoon I was given by a like-minded colleague back when I worked at Goudelock Advertising as the Associate Creative Director. It showed two people talking at a dinner party, one being the casually dressed humble, writer type and the other, some all-knowing raised eyebrow guy in a suit who said and (I paraphrase): “Oh, so you’re a writer, are you? I wish I had time to write.”
I wish there had been a sequel with the writer replying back: “Why you’re in luck! Here’s my computer! Have at it!”
As someone who takes my craft seriously, with a huge dash of humor thrown in, this little masterpiece of irony definitely resonated with me. It’s funny to me how some people really do think that all it takes to consider oneself a writer is to have the physical ability to hold a pencil or know how to type…and of course, having the spare time to sit down and do it –like a hobby.
Sure, the act of writing itself looks easy and painless. But in real life, being a creative copywriter is both a spontaneous and laborious process. Creative copywriting requires trusting your instincts to let the words flow…but then, being judge, jury, and executioner when it comes time to edit your work. Mark Twain got it –before copywriting was even a word. “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
Every good copywriter knows from experience and from our own hard-earned creative process that it is much easier to write too much than it is to write just the right amount. In our business, fluff is not good stuff.
That’s all I’m going to say about that.