I often ask myself whether a good copywriter is every entirely satisfied with his work. Probably not. It’s frequently a stretch to create good and convincing copy. Yet the next time around, or at some future point, you always seem to do better.
One important point is the Power of Detachment – the ability to look at your own work as if you were somebody else. For this to happen, you need to put aside your ‘creation’ for a few days so that you can review it with fresh eyes. Is the logical order right? Is there a good connection and flow between one thought and the next? Are you being too technical? Will people understand? Is the main argument supported well enough and does the headline reflect this? So many questions along the way to achieving a positive piece of written communication…
Another point is to Simplify Down. I think it’s good for non-technical people to be asked to explain technical subjects. One of the problems in our advanced society is assuming that the audience already understands the basics, so that one can move on… It’s when you break a process down into its most basic components that you start to understand how the pieces fit together again. Your client or boss may think you’re being slow, but this can be an excellent way to achieve clarity of expression and blow away the fog of half-understanding.
Self-doubt and self-criticism (in reasonable measure) are essential factors of good copywriting. The moment when writers feel that they have really “got it” is probably the moment when they start to lose it!