So you like to organize the content of your desk by color and size—what’s the big deal, right? If this is a question you’ve asked yourself before, there’s a good chance that you’re one of those obsessive-compulsive types.
No worries—this is a judgement free zone. Honestly, I’m one of those OCD people. In fact, the aforementioned example is a question I ask myself every day at work as I pull all of my folders, spiral notebooks [yes, I still use these] and pens from my briefcase [backpack].
However, in spite of what my mother says, as a copywriter, I’m not fully convinced that being OCD is such a bad thing.
Granted, there’s plenty of downside with being a bit paranoid about tedious things, but when you spend the totality of just about each and every day writing on a laptop computer, being obsessive-compulsive could even potentially be seen as a benefit.
Think I’m crazy? Not as much as you’d think. Here’s why:
Ensuring Editorial Flow
This is probably one of my biggest nit-picks as a writer. I simply can’t accept writing that sounds choppy. Now this isn’t to say that I don’t believe in shorter sentences, because I totally do.
Heck, I like to tout myself as the guy who constantly preaches, “Write like you talk,” so I should be somewhat skilled in this.
Anyway, I’m getting away from what really matters here—obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD people refuse to leave a sentence alone until it sounds absolutely perfect.
Yes, speed is an important part of making real money as a copywriter, but if you can write quickly, succinctly and with that realistic style with which people speak, you’re sitting pretty.
OCD copywriters, though possibly not as talented as other professionals, will work until they get it right. Simply put, paying customers love this. Who can blame them?
Knocking Grammar Out of the Park
We all saw this one coming, didn’t we? Perfectionists are almost always grammar Nazis. Yup, in my opinion, that stereotype is spot-on.
Truthfully, while negative in certain circumstances, it’s also a very positive thing for a copywriter. Grammatical perfection leads to happy clients and reoccurring work.
How convenient is all of this for me? I mean seriously, I start off this piece by claiming to be OCD and then proceed to talk about how being OCD makes you a better, more detail-oriented writer.
Now, before you go back and start searching for all of this piece’s grammatical mistakes, please know that I’m by no means a perfect copywriter. Whether it be a blog post, web copy project or email marketing campaign, I’m no stranger to mistakes.
That said, generally speaking, OCD writers would rather part ways with a limb before submitting something with a single grammar mistake. While admirable, this is my personal blog and I don’t have the time or energy to stress about it.
I enjoy it too much. Go ahead and hunt for the misplaced comma or incorrectly used semicolon. I’m certain you’ll find it.
Coming Through In the Clutch for Clients
As a copywriter, the best way to win an ongoing relationship with a client is to come through in the clutch for him or her.
This might mean going above and beyond what was originally asked of you, doing a bit of extra editing to make certain a project exceeds expectations or staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish an assignment.
For OCD writers, this is never an issue, because they’re incapable of resting until everything is exactly how it should be. See what I mean? A true blessing in disguise.
Seeing as how there’s a good chance you’re either a full-time copywriter or spend a good portion of your day writing, what’s your take on the matter?
Could great copywriting really be the byproduct of obsessive-compulsive tendencies? Voice your opinion in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.