The Talking Part of Writing
Talking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
When it comes to brand new, unpaged ideas (that is, not yet written), J.K. Rowling is right:
But at some point every idea needs to make contact with an audience. Writers want their idea fully-formed with beautiful plumage before they exhibit it to anyone (lest someone call my baby ugly). Copywriters know this is not possible when it comes to collaborative writing—writing that serves some mission or purpose for an organization or cause—which needs client eyeballs as a part of the process.
Because Lillian Hellman is also right:
And Nora Roberts is especially right:
There’s the writing. And then there’s the fixing. I often think of the fixing as equally creative as the original writing. Great and wonderful things happen at the fixing/revising stage.
There is a point in every copywriting project where it must be discussed. It must be read aloud. And the key is—especially with new clients—fail faster.
I recently made a category error with a new client and I’m wondering how high a price I’ll pay. Rather than insisting on an early reading and sharing first thoughts when the bar was low, I let my content slide through several holidays until the deadline is an approaching storm and the bar is high for the copy to be right on the first reading.
Which it isn’t: it’s full of questions.
Which is almost always the case with a new client. Especially if the topic has a lot of moving parts.
So lesson learned (again): insist on failing faster and earlier.
Image credit: Kirk Livingston