Recently, I combed through over 60 interviews with A list level copywriters. No doubt, there are a number of interesting patterns that emerge.
All the copywriters had a pattern of doing research, writing and editing. That’s no shock. The difference came in how much time each copywriter spent in each area.
Funny to find that there was almost no consistency between our copywriters. There was a wide range of anywhere from 40-80% of their time spent on research and then 20-55% on writing. One guy even claimed he didn’t do any editing at all (not recommended). The lesson here is to find your own way. As long as you’re getting good results, it doesn’t’ matter.
A common theme developed on what it’s like for top copywriters when they write. There was always some kind of core emotion involved in the creation process. Sometimes each segment had its own state of being (detective, conversationalist and editor). Others, it was a simple enjoyment and fascination with the entire process.
That strong emotion could be described as a flow state. Athletes know about being in the zone. It’s the same thing. It’s where your ability comes up against a commensurate challenge and everything else seems to fade away while you fully immerse yourself in the experience.
What if you’re new to copywriting and don’t know how to find that flow experience? Look for it in another area of your life. Maybe you’ve lost yourself in a dance, a painting or while cooking. What’s it like during that activity? Consider what brings on that flow state for you. If it’s music, a feeling, etc apply that to your writing.
Our copywriters have other qualities in common too. Take time of day for writing. Isn’t it true that the early bird gets the worm? Or how about the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise…”
The pattern was that there was very little consistency there either. Many copywriters like to knock out an hour or two of writing first thing in the morning. Some say though that they do their best writing in the afternoon or evening once everyone else is gone to bed and all is quiet. So it’s really up to you to find your most productive time.
What’s the consensus on how long should you keep editing things? Some writers pride themselves on getting a job out in a day or two. Others revise and revise… until the company finally calls and asks for it to be submitted.
The bottom line is to get out there and do it. Yes, brush up on your skills but don’t worry that you’re not doing things in the optimal amounts or times. Find what works for you and gets going.