[Is this all white for you?
All the letters are there: the caps and spacing didnt confuse, did they?
As a copywriter, I sometimes get quick once over requests. I wonder if you do too.
The request has three variations:
1. Just give it 15 minutes.
Some clients assess my work by what I keep, not discard.
Thus, if I spend an hour rendering two pages of crud into one perfect paragraph, they see 50 words and think Bargain!
If I were a surgeon, theyd say:
Look at that jar: its tiny! Why bill me for operating on my whole body when you only took out that little, bitty gallstone?!
2. Just focus on the howlers.
bad errors I might find.
Though I invariably find dozens of small to medium errors that I know will undermine her pitch, brand (and even viability) she isnt interested. She knows her writing is good. She gave it to me at the eleventh hour, as an afterthought.
If I were a crèche, shed say:
Were entering Emily in a national baby contest in four hours. Im going home to change. Just keep her alive until I return. Only call if she goes blue or black; dont worry about the peanut thing. I know my daughter.
3. Theres only two hours in the budget.
I perfect communications via multiple processes. Spelling, punctuation, tone, cadence, readability and jargon are just the tip.
Numbers, fact accuracy, logical flow, legal compliance, audience suitability and consistency with branding and prior communications form the next level. Then theres the optional humour, irony, academic and cultural references etc.
This deep thinking takes time.
So, if I get two hours to optimise 6000 not-very-good words, I must cut corners. Yet like a Rubiks cube, my corners intertwine. Lose one, no cube.
If I were a builder, theyd say:
We need a safe, certified, 25-square home for $50K. Dont forget the plumbing, wiring, plaster, painting, insulation, termite proofing and hurricane roofing. Were in Darwin.
Time is money: I need it and I know clients arent made of it. I promise perfect communications: too-small budgets make this impossible. Yet I genuinely like my clients and want them to prosper.
I cant let flawed work leave my desk. So I do three or four hours for the price of two. Just like the faeries.
How about you? Do you mow three hectares for the price of two? Install five workstations for the cost of three? Teach eight people for the fee of five?
If so, whats your motivation?
- Other (please state _________ ).
- All of the above.
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