Writing. Kebabs. They have a lot in common. Really.
Let me explain…
With kebabs, the grilling over really hot sizzling coals is furiously quick. Yet before the skewers get anywhere near the barbeque there’s a lot of prep work. It takes time and a lot of care to slice, season and layer up the raw materials – and those red-hot coals don’t spontaneously combust.
Good writing is often the same. Most experienced copywriters can cover a lot of ground pretty quickly when they get going and yet, in so many ways, for them the writing is the easy part.
Getting to the heart of what the client wants or needs – or not being able to do that – is where things fall apart. The brief is a little fuzzy; the messaging isn’t quite right; the background information isn’t sourced properly and is flaky.
In this sense, all the ingredients of good writing – brief, messaging, reliable sources, a clear tone of voice and absolute clarity of purpose – take a while to get right. Marinating time is essential.
As with great kebab grilling, the process can’t be hurried.
I’m not suggesting that you cover copywriting briefs in yoghurt and garlic and leave them in the fridge overnight. But it’s usually a good idea to prep a brief’s constituent parts ahead of time and then just leave them alone for a while.
When you do return, if everything still looks good you’re ready to get on and begin writing. If something’s missing, find it now. Like a great chef, you can’t find new ingredients or source information at the last minute, when everything, so to speak, is on the skewer about to be placed on the barbeque.
This way, the writing will be fast, efficient and bang on message. And your words will hit the spot.
No garnish necessary.