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Copywriters – and why criticism is a bitter pill to swallow

Nobody likes to be criticised.  And when you’ve worked long and hard on a copywriting project, having someone criticise your work is very hard to take.

And that isn’t just something trainee copywriters experience either.  You’re just as likely to face criticism when you’ve finished your copywriting training as when you’re a student.

After hours of work … there is nothing more soul-destroying than to have someone say … “I don’t understand this”.  When this happens (and if you’re training to be a copywriter, it will happen), you need to be prepared.

Your first reaction is likely to be irritation.  You’ll bristle and even if you don’t say it aloud, you’ll be thinking some pretty rude thoughts about your critic.

While that’s the natural reaction, it’s not a good one.  As a copywriter, you have to overcome this, take it on the chin, and ask yourself why they don’t understand what you’ve written.  It’s not because they’re stupid, or being plain difficult, sad to say … it’s because you haven’t explained it properly.  So instead of feeling aggrieved, you need to do something about it.

When I first started work as a freelance copywriter, my husband was my biggest critic.  We had more than a few fraught moments when he questioned what I’d written.  But eventually the penny dropped.  He was on my side.  Better him questioning what I’d written than the client.  If my husband didn’t know what I meant, what chance was there of Joe Public understanding it?  I quickly realised if I wanted to become a successful copywriter, I must concentrate on improving my skills and not waste my energy shooting the messenger!

It is almost impossible for anyone to check their own work properly.  This is why it is so important for you to have support during your copywriting training.  Ask a friend or family member to check what you’ve written.  And when they utter those dreaded words, remember they’re helping you out. So swallow the pill and deal with it with a smile and some words of thanks.
Blog post by Joy McCarthy