Sorry, Practice Doesn't Make Perfect!

Starting in mid-February each year, Major League Baseball players gather in Florida and Arizona to gear up for the coming season. They practice, play exhibition games, interact with fans and learn their coaches’ strategies.

Spring Training is generally low key, but it’s a significant part of a major leaguer’s career.

This week, which happens to be the last week of MLB Spring Training, I’m going to take you through Copywriting Spring Training. Like the baseball players, we’ll learn the value of quality practice to continually fine-tune our skills, the importance of coaches in guiding us to success, and why having a loyal support system can make all the difference in the world.

But let’s start our Spring Training with the idea of practice …

Practice makes perfect, right?

Wrong!

If you’re practicing with bad habits (as a baseball player or as a copywriter), you’re only going to get really good at those bad habits.

The key is to practice with good form, solid technique, and a totally present mindset.

For us copywriters, this could be writing a minimum number of words each day, or a certain number of journal pages. Maybe it’s trying out a new technique.

Whatever it looks like, for us copywriters, our practice is WRITING!

And not lazy, doing-it-just-to-be-doing-it, mindless writing, either. I’m talking about purposeful, as-close-to-perfect-as-you-can-make-it writing. Every word … every sentence … every day.

For example, in addition to working on my own writing projects each day (whether personal or for clients), I also take some time each morning to “warm up” by writing out by hand samples from my swipe file.

Your writing practice could be the same, or you can develop something uniquely yours. Perhaps you practice describing a product benefit in 100 words or less. Or you practice writing copy that stirs up a specific strong emotion (fear, anger, joy … pick one to focus on each day or each week).

Whatever yours is, commit to “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect” with me today, and get to it!

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about fine-tuning our skills. I hope you’ll join me with your game face on!

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Published: March 25, 2013

4 Responses to “Sorry, Practice Doesn't Make Perfect!”

  1. Michele, I notice when I start by copying items from my swipe file that when I begin my client work I experience a better "flow" and I'm already warmed up and ready to write. I look forward to the rest of your series.

    Anthony SMarch 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

  2. I am brand new just completed my first two writting exercises It is great to hear from someone new and succesful.

    Guest (Stephen DallaCosta)March 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm

  3. Nice article. Enjoyed it.

    However, it doesn't really make the saying "practice makes perfect" false!

    Practice DOES make perfect. What you practice (and perfect) however, is totally up to you.

    But I get your point. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Guest (Susheel)March 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

  4. There's something about 'perfect' like 'truth' that has always bothered me. They are not Greek abstract concepts. To be perfect means to be well suited to the existing environment. Change the context and perfect ceases to exist. Ask an elephant in the Arctic. We can create pieces for clients that are perfect for their needs 'right now' but may not work in 6 or 12 months. Time changes and 'perfect' corrodes into hmmm. well done. Just a thot. C.

    Will CraigJune 19, 2016 at 11:23 pm


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