Is it better to write fast or slow?
It was the end of a conference, and I was seated at dinner with a group of music librarians who worked at a famous national institution. One fellow offered to give me a behind-the-scenes tour. I could go behind the closed doors and walk among the hidden stacks to see whatever my heart desired.
You’d think I’d come up with something original.
I had to see Beethoven … and Mozart.
There they were – scores the composers had written in their own hands.
First, I saw Beethoven’s manuscripts. This was slow writing. The pages were marked up with scratchy scribbles. Musical notes and phrases were crossed out and corrected. We witnessed a visible struggle for perfection
Then came a glance at the Mozart – fast, clean, and beautiful.
So what does that have to do with copywriting?
In writing, just as in music, coming up with the finished product is not always pretty.
If you are scribbling or struggling, you are not alone. And taking time for the necessary strategy and edits can lead to remarkable and profitable results.
Of course, there will always be the Mozarts of writing. One of my kids writes first drafts at 2 a.m. that look like 7th drafts. And it’s been said that Bob Bly has never had writer’s block. Ever.
I can write fast – but only after I spend a long time reading first – to get the ideas stewing. Then I write badly on purpose and edit. A lot. Because it’s the only way to get through blank page freeze.
My writing coach has told me I need to write 28 drafts.“I can write better than anybody who can write faster ...” – A. J. Liebling Click To Tweet
That’s OK though. Gary Bencivenga and A.J. Liebling are both know to have said they could write better than anyone who could write faster and faster than anyone who could write better.
I may never be a Beethoven OR a Mozart …
However, the beauty of writing most things (NOT emails or LinkedIn messages)
Is that you can keep learning and editing“Success is a process, not an event.” – Gary Halbert Click To Tweet
Over time you create a trail that keeps you honest … reminds you of how bad those first articles were.
Even the ones you were so proud of …
And that’s good because recognizing the difference means you’re growing.
It’s a process.
So keep writing.
And if you want to know more about the secrets of great copywriters, check out my list of 10 Books for Writing Copy that Skyrockets Sales:
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