Chiseller or vending machine: what kind of digital worker are you?

Copywriting is a art that proceeds by subtracting and requires study, time and patience. But not everyone shares this view.

As a copywriter, writer and blogger I work with words and, above all, with brain and time. Contrary to popular belief, a good text rarely comes as an epiphany, but rather is the result of study, analysis and the exstensive use of the “Canc” key: the digital version of the famous correction fluid (who has had the opportunity to use a typewriter knows what I’m talking about).

It is obvious to me that, if writing is a work of chiseling and subtraction, it’s natural that you cannot churn out articles, headlines, bodycopies or calls to action instantly, as if a copywriter is a sort of sentence processor able to respond to an input in a few seconds. No, we are not vending machines!

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” – Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal has perfectly grasped the concept, the most difficult for clients to understand, and unfortunately, also for other digital professionals. Well, that a client, totally alien to the sector, may initially think that writing is simple, fast and doesn’t require special skills, it’s annoyng (yes) but understandable. Otherwise, if other digital workers have these preconceptions, well I think that, maybe, there is something deeply wrong with our sector.

This year, unfortunately, I have too often found myself in meetings (via Zoom) in which my colleagues – mostly Art Directors, Web Masters and Marketing Managers – asked me to stop at the end of the meeting for – I quote – “arrange the two sentences that need to be reviewed” or “write the two missing lines”.

“It’s harder to write a report of twenty lines that one of twenty pages” – Dwight David Eisenhower

And it’s a pretty popular approach,, especially in the digital sector. I have witnessed several times to “live” changes of website’s code during a meeting with the client or, again, the improvised creation of accounts on online platforms, without thinking about method, procedures or privacy.

First of all, I do not think there is anything wrong with reassuring a customer or having a “problem solving” attitude. I just wonder, however, if in the end the extemporaneous approach, “action – reaction”, really rewards.

Do you appear professional, attentive and competent or do you diminish your work? Does the customer experience it as efficiency and speed or, rather, as superficiality and sloppiness?

Due to my professional experience, when I am confronted with a problem I tend to take the time to think. Even if I have to face a seemingly simple question, I need time. I’m not a fan of the art of improvisation, and I think my approach is a sign of respect for the client and myself too.

Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.”- David Ogilvy

So, I am part of the chiselling team and I am proud of it. What about you? What kind of digital worker are you?