I remember my Dad saying, “The toughest thing for an artist is knowing when to stop.” At the time, I didn’t fully appreciate what he was saying. He was warning me about having the confidence to say, “I’m done!” And let the criticism or accolades fall where they will and then move on. I failed to understand that little bit of advice for way too long. The same truth applies to writing copy. How many times do you tweak a headline or finesse the body copy? Usually, you’re working towards a deadline, so ready or not you’re done. But what about personal projects?
As a copywriter, I’m battling myself every day. Is it any good? Will people get the message? Am I just a hack? All that creeps in when I write. Doubt and fear paralyze my creative judgement so I edit and revise to no end. For example, I sat down the other day just to polish up a couple spec ads in my portfolio. After 3 hours, every single word changed—from headline to body copy. The problem? I don’t know if it’s better, worse or just different. ARRGH!
So what have I learned? Positive feedback feeds egos. I want, er, need someone to poke holes in my ideas. I mean rip them a new one so I can learn, grow and be an ad biz superstar. Ok, maybe not a superstar. But you know what I mean.
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