I was once asked how long it took to write a letter. I hadn’t really quantified it like that up until that point. I started paying attention to how long it took, and not surprisingly, I could crank out a page in less than a half hour. But that was the tip of the iceberg.
When I looked at actual time to final draft, I averaged 4-7 hours a page. Why? Editing. Fine tuning. Massaging. The devil is in the details, and the detail that defines great copy is our willingness to shed blood. To cut and slash and merge and purge. To move and shift and refine, refine, refine. To massage and tweak. To do whatever it takes to make the message as clear and compelling as possible.
So many people are scared to even try putting the letters on the page, as though by typing them in they are written in stone. The real work comes after they’re on the page, when you hold life or death court, deciding which words live, and which words die. But like the swordsmith of old, the refining fire burns out the impurities in the metal and makes the hard steel.
To write your letter, stop fooling around and just do it. Trust that your copy will speak to you, and listen. Then, take the time to edit your copy, to refine your message so it’s crisp and clear, and compelling. Use the next section to help you focus your writing on the key elements that will make it sell.