The Copy “Fandom” is Fun for Some, But Never Necessary for Success

Quentin Tarantino

“If you just love movies enough, you can make a good one.” – Quentin Tarantino, Born Mar. 27, 1963.

Some people love copy. They fetishize it as an object, and treat the “copywriting industry” like a religion.

For people like that, the goal is to have written “good” copy, so deemed by their peers – the other copy acolytes. It has to meet those expectations.

They can drop the correct names of the “a-list” saints of yesteryear. They've all read and can recite the proper memoirs and manuals. They've all copied the sacred letters by hand like medieval monks.

For them, “copy” is a thing carved in stone. It must be one way, and that is THE way.

But copy isn't a religion. It's just a genre of writing. To that end, the people that get religious about copy are a lot more like your typical nerd fandom.

And hey, baby. Fandom is a wonderful thing to be a part of. I'm a member of several. But like any other kind of fandom – be it comic books, or vampire erotica, or yeah, even copywriting…

Despite their seemingly strict standards, super-fans are the gatekeepers to fuck-all. They don't create, they only criticize.

They say you're not doing it right, because you're not doing it the way some dead or geriatric “top dog” says to do it.

They say you can't call yourself a “true pro” because you don't know some arbitrary arcane lore they consider required knowledge.

They care more about the “copyness” of the copy – which is actually only just a means to an end – than they do about the goal.

And what IS the goal? Simple. Anyone can do it without even knowing what “copy” is or isn't.

It's about connecting with people, and giving them something worth spending money on.

That's it. It's not magic. It's not literature. It's not art.

Tarantino is right in that if you care about making “good” movies, then loving movies deeply is a great way to tell what that even is.

But here is the thing.

You don't have to love movies to make successful movies. So eliminate that bar for yourself. Be interested. But you don't have to be passionately in love with your topic in order to mine value there that you can build a profitable audience around.

You don't have to make “good” movies to be a successful filmmaker, either. Don't hold yourself to anyone's standard but your buyer's. Be just slightly more interesting than the shit they usually get pitched.

Look, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade.

Are you an artist that cares about the art more than the outcome? Bless you, you beautiful soul you. Manifest your grand vision and let those with sufficiently discerning tastes pass judgment on you.

For the rest of us, my advice: just get out there and connect with the people who love the shit you've got for sale. Mix it up. Make friends. Make enemies. Publish offers.

That's all it will probably take. Try not to be so disappointed.

Who gives a fuck if you're doing it “wrong” according to anyone else, including me? As long as your audience digs it, and they are buying what you make for them, or you are getting that result for your clients, fuck everyone else.

Ironically, once you stop caring what the wrong people think, that's when you will really and truly start to love what you're doing.

And hey, by then your stuff might even be GOOD. 😉

2 thoughts on “The Copy “Fandom” is Fun for Some, But Never Necessary for Success”

  1. Total novice here looking to develop the craft if copywriting. I'm practicing handwriting old proven ads by Gary Halbert, David Ogilvy, John Carleton and John Hopkins (hope I spelled that correctly). I'm all in…past the point of no return. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I will try to reciprocate (as always). Be well

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