editing

The problem with copywriting is that nobody reads, right?

The problem with copywriting is that nobody reads, right?

Good copy, bad copy, let's call the whole thing off. 

One of my main anxieties as a copywriter isn't whether my words have hit the mark or not, it's whether they're actually being read. I'm convinced that many of the businesses and agencies I write for don't read what I produce - they just publish it.  I sometimes have these devious thoughts about misplacing an apostrophe or sneaking in a few lines from Star Wars just to see if they'll notice, but those pesky ethics get the better of me. 

This morning it dawned on me: if I'm worried about my clients reading my work, do my audience even bother? 

As copywriters, we'd all like to think that the piece of copy we wrote on the difference between steel blue and royal blue paint is being lapped up like the latest episode of Game of Thrones, but in reality it's probably just filler. Filler is okay. I, like many writers, started out writing filler content and I still do to pay the bills occasionally. It still has to read well, but you know as well as your client that nobody outside of a cardigan and a pair of well trodden slippers is going to even cast their eyes over it, much less engage with it, but that's okay. 

What I'm worried about is the good stuff. The articles we labour over. The statistics we pluck from the depths of the internet and cleverly spin into meaningful prose. The witty metaphors we conjure out of thin air. The late Friday nights spent hunched over a keyboard, eyes darting to the unopened bottle of wine in the kitchen every time we hit a full stop.