The night my balls died

“MY BALLS WORK!”

Nothing.

I said it loud, and I was clear.

Still… nothin’.

It was official – Liverpool didn’t care about my balls.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t totally surprised. 

On Tuesday, I discovered that no-one in Birmingham cared about my balls working either.

I decided to give it one more try…

Maybe the good people of Blackburn will appreciate the functionality of my reproductive system…

– – – – 

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn as a copywriter is:

“I am not my copy”

This doesn’t sound like much, but, when you care about your craft, it’s an important lesson.

If you attach any of your own worth to the words you write, you’re buggered.

Not only will you worry about EVERYTHING you write, but you’ll also reach the point where you’re afraid to share ANYTHING, through fear of rejection.

Enter Joe Sugarman.

In his book “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” he says something to the effect of:

“Put me in a room with 20 writers and I may create the best ad, but, I’ll tell you this, my first draft will be the worst in the room.”

(forgive me for not grabbing the exact quote. I’ve just got comfy on the couch and the bookshelf is waaaaay over there)

Annie Lamott, in “Bird By Bird” gives similar advice. She calls it the “Shitty first draft”, but the idea is the same…

… just get something down on paper, regardless of how ugly it is.

The goal of the first draft is to get all the information down in one place. That’s it.

There are no prizes for getting it perfect, first time – no one cares.

Here’s the thing…

Even after you post your sales page, it’s STILL a work in progress.

You’re still looking at conversions, gauging reactions and testing headlines.

Copy is a living, breathing thing.

Like my balls. (sorry)

You see, I was absolutely convinced that my joke about my balls working would KILL.

When I stepped on stage, I was SURE it’d get a laugh.

I was wrong.

Nothing.

Nothing in Birmingham.

Nothing in Liverpool.

And no, nothing in Blackburn.

Comedy, like copy, isn’t created on a piece of paper…

… it’s created in the real world – in front of a live audience.

The best comedians in the world don’t know which jokes will work or not. 

That’s why Chris Rock is still out there every night, testing jokes – he has no idea.

If multi-millionaire, mega-star Chris Rock is OK with admitting that he has no idea what will work and what won’t…

… maybe I should go easy on myself and stop crying when I hand some Facebook ad copy to a client…

John