If you’ve ever written copy for advertising, marketing materials or the web – even if you’re not a copywriter but just the unlucky soul elected to do the dirty work – you will know that what ends up in the final version is not what first came out of your head.
If you are a copywriter, you’re familiar with having multiple drafts of your work as it is developed from rough to polished. Getting there could take two drafts, or 20.
Regardless of how many drafts you write, none are nearly as difficult as the first.
You’ve heard of “writer’s block” and, if it exists, it manifests itself in the first draft.
To help you avoid any issues the next time you get the dreaded call to copy, the good folks at Copyblogger were kind enough to put together 10 Rules for Writing First Drafts. (see below)
The points are all good and should get you to a successful first draft sooner than later.
The only slight downside for me is the unfortunate liberty that’s taken with the copywriting for the Rules. I can only guess it’s an attempt to be different, cute or shocking.
For example, point 5: “Break every rule known to man.” Even if you knew every copy and grammar rule, you wouldn’t actually have to break them all as a prerequisite for completing your first draft. It’s better written as: “Don’t worry if you break every rule known to man”.
Aside from my nit-picking, I would add one more point to the 10, between points 2 and 3, and it’s simply this: