No one likes to work with someone who refuses to take feedback. We’ve all worked with people like that—someone who’s determined that he/she is right and that others are wrong and that the work produced is without flaw or need of improvement at all, whatsoever. Period.
It’s not easy.
There was a period of two years during which I worked with two graphic designers who are absolute opposites when it comes to handling critique of their work.
Note: When I refer to these creative colleagues, I’m obviously not going to use their real names. So I’ll call them Gandalf and Saruman. Personal preference.
Watching them showed me their distinct approaches—and how to be better at taking feedback myself.
Why can’t they just trust me? I’m a professional.
~ Every Writer Ever
According to my research, every writer on the planet has uttered some form of this phrase at least a hundred times. (Disclaimer: My research has consisted of talking to my fellow writers here at work. Still, I’m pretty sure I’m right.)
It’s frustrating when we feel like our clients don’t trust us.
We pour ourselves into our work. We take pride in it. We can also be slightly sensitive about it at times, too. When someone questions that comma or that phrase or that arrangement, it’s easy to get defensive. Because really, why don’t they trust us?
But really, why should they trust us?
Seriously. Have we earned their trust? It’s their project, their company, their brand, their reputation, how they look to their bosses. We’re their resource.
So instead of taking it personally, let’s empathize and earn our clients’ trust.
This post isn’t about gadgets or books or some sure-fire, secret to transform your writing into everything you’ve ever dreamed of, plus a basket of kittens.
This is about table stakes. Basics that other people may not tell you about because you’re expected to already know.
Because they’re part of every writer’s job.
Ever work on a mind-numbing copywriting project that just won’t end?
New feedback conflicts with previous feedback. Nit-picky edits stemming from random opinion. Rounds and rounds of review are followed by more rounds of review.
It laughs in the face of all processes and procedures as it robs you of your sanity.
Not every project turns out like this. Some go on forever and when they’re done, you miss them (you were having that much fun). But once in a while, there’s that odd project that inspires you to do practically anything to just end the pain.
That moment you reach that point of no return?
I call it the Cat Butt Level.
As in “I’ll stick a picture of a cat’s butt on this thing if you will just approve it.”
I’m a stickler when it comes to my writer’s resume. Even though I’m happy where I am, I’m still putting it through some regular maintenance. As I research new ideas and trends, I’m noticing that some people think writers don’t need a resume.
Main reasons being no one reads them anymore, they’re boring and that your online portfolio more effectively shows you at your best. The strongest case I’ve come across for not having a resume is made by freelance B2B copywriter, Daisy McCarty, in her blog post Why You Should Burn Your Freelance Resume. To sum up her standpoint, by presenting a resume, you present yourself as a job seeker and put yourself in a weaker negotiating position.
All valid points.
I still think every copywriter — freelance and cube dwelling — should have a resume.
Now, not all writers market the same way. If you’re a blogger who networks online or a magazine writer who pitches ideas, a traditional resume may not be the best use of your time. My point of view is that of a professional copywriter who targets businesses.
I’ve freelanced and cube-dwelled. And in both cases, the benefits of having one outweighed my reasons for not.