This manifesto has imbibed the experience and principles of the best Russian editors. I collected them for four years and presented them today as a list of 25 theses. These rules help me not to do bullshit and protect me from bad projects.
- Before you start writing a copy, think about how not to make one.
- Your text will not change the world. It’s just another text.
- Don’t play with the words, don’t move them around. It doesn’t change much.
- Don’t grind your copies to perfection. Perfect things exist only in your mind.
- Publish your post while it’s burning and exciting.
- Hire a proofreader so that you don’t have to argue with the client about spelling and punctuation.
- Take responsibility for the result you provide, not for separate words, sentences, or the number of characters.
- Ask questions and listen carefully to the client. He has answers and solutions.
- Don’t be an asshole. Don’t go missing, and warn about troubles as soon as they arise.
- Don’t teach your client how to write texts, and don’t be stubborn like a ram. Don’t argue about your unique vision of writing and style. No one is interested in it.
- Solve the task and do not try to prove to the client that you’re the boss here.
- Leave emotions behind the door when you enter the meeting. Reschedule the call if you are a little off the rails.
- Don’t grovel and don’t settle for bad decisions. You have to defend your principles.
- Always work on a contract, take an advance payment.
- There is no such thing as a fair or average price for a text. A fair price is the one that suits you and the client.
- It’s hard to make a living on plain texts. To make more, sell the service, not the text or the number of characters.
- Develop skills in related areas: layout, management, design, code, typography, illustration, negotiation, law.
- Never work with urgent tasks. You won’t make much money, but you’re guaranteed to eat some shit and be left holding the bag.
- Work only on the projects you would not be ashamed of and that you can put in your portfolio.
- Don’t get into a project with a bad context out of need. You won’t be happy with the money.
- Remember you’re great. You make a living with your mind. Not everyone dares to do this.
- When you don’t see a way out, go back to the initial brief and the task your client brought in. Usually, there’s an answer or a hint.
- See all projects through to completion. Finish all your projects. In a difficult moment, remind yourself why you got into this project and keep the goal in mind.
- Take care of your health: sleep at night, exercise, eat well. Make 10,000 steps a day, eat fruit, vegetables, and greens, drink more water and less coffee.
- Be honest and frank with yourself. All problems begin with lies.