24 May Copywriting tip 26: Deadlines
Picture this: the Mystery Box challenge on Masterchef.
The contestants get their box of ingredients. Sixty minutes to cook an amazing meal.
Off they go.
At the 35-minute mark, half the chefs sit back. They’re done. Dish complete.
How would we, the viewer, feel?
Surely they should use every minute, every second?
Just like us writing copy.
The only reason we ever produce something is because we have a deadline.
One of my clients once gave me what they thought was a great deadline: ‘Get it to me when you’re ready, Jon!’.
Nope. That’s terrible.
Because it’ll never be ready. Never perfect. The only reason I hit ‘send’ is because the client’s screaming for their overdue copy.
I can’t write about deadlines without mentioning my favourite quote – from Douglas Adams:
‘I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.’
(That’s by way of an apology to my clients.)
Like the contestants on Masterchef, our job is to take the ingredients we’re given. Produce something the judges love. And do it (roughly) on time.
Instead of fighting deadlines, embrace them.
Not unreasonable ones, of course.
But a meal you make when you’ve got 15 minutes is different to the one you make when you’ve got an hour.
Deadlines shape the end result. As much as the budget, and the brief.
So, with my deadline for this article about to whoosh by, I hit ‘publish’.
This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.
Image source: Pixabay