I started out as a copywriter and trained under the toughest bosses in the industry.
“Write short sentences. My CD urged.
“Write the way you would speak,” his demanding ex-copywriter wife turned businesswoman said.
All this happened at a time when long copy ruled and the rulebook on ‘propah english’ writing was being thrown out of the window by avant-garde admen and women.
Note: There were rules on how to break the rules, but more about that later.
If he didn’t like what I wrote, he made paper planes with the typewritten sheets and sailed them out of the office’s 6th-floor window. His big boss wife was made of sterner stuff. She used a big fat red ink pen to lash out at my copy, circle the smallest copy error and stab away unnecessary words. Then that same pen was used to wave me out to re-write everything from the start.
Years later, I too trained eager-eyed writers but was never as cruel.
My team of writers is small. And no copy goes out until I have used ctrl x, ctrl v, the delete button, and almost the entire keyboard for the final polish.