Over the past six years, we’ve seen quite a few of, what one might call contributions, submissions, blog-posts, et cetera, but we like to call it copy; written content in publications, in contrast to photographs or other elements of the layout.
So I will humbly address those awesomely talented copywriters among you, who are actively contributing, on a regular basis, to Angie’s, or intend to do so in the near future.
I know you are probably first and foremost a novelist, a poet, an essayist, a reviewer, a blogger, a struggling, aspiring writer, or perhaps even one of our many bestselling authors. At the end of the day, we, as a magazine in all its parts and manifestations, use humans to process the material submitted by you copywriters, on a daily basis.
At times, we receive copy of such rare quality, that we don’t mind taking the occasional typo, or lack of punctuation, for granted; making our editing the very reason of our being, when we give this particular text the final touch, in awe of its magnificence.
But often a contributor isn’t solid, nor constant. Her next piece might be riddled with typos. Her contextual arguments suddenly do not seem to make any sense.
The format in which she dumped her text is sprinkled with unnecessary codes, lack of line brakes, no paragraphs, no commas, no semicolons, sometimes even written integrally in CAPITALS; oblivious to punctuation, contextual spelling, style, or sentence structure – in short: an editor’s nightmare.
Should we, in the knowledge that this person sporadically delivers rare-quality copy, and is undoubtedly a talented storyteller, straighten our backs and accept the one or two hours extra work needed to get this piece published the way we, as a magazine, can still identify with?
Of course, we developed our policy over the years, but what does this tell us about the copywriter herself?
At times, we receive copy that’s painstakingly edited, has no spelling or grammar issues, but is either in poor taste, or worse, completely uninteresting. Other times we proofread copy from authors in a book promotion frenzy, trying to get away with adding twenty links in a badly written, twenty words ‘book review.’
And then, suddenly, a gem falls into our lap, and makes it all worth it. We’re happy again.
Remember, this is your work. Your copy.
Text that carries not only your signature but the way you submit it potentially exposes your psychological profile, your soul if you like… All in all, it gives us a pretty good idea of who you are.
…At least, that’s my theory.