When it Comes to Copywriting, Remember “Think Long. Write Short.”

There is a quote that is often attributed to Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Cicero, Benjamin Franklin, and lots of other great thinkers. It is often said that it was written at the end of a long letter, and goes as follows:

“I’m sorry I could not have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.”

There are variations on the quote, but they all get to the same point: it takes time to write short, informative, concise copy. For a lot of people (including me), a lot of that time is used in the rewrite.

The reason I like this quote is because I’m a firm believer that anything that can be said in 10 words can be said better in 5. You believe this, too. Every time you are reading a website or an article or a cereal box that just… seems… to… drag… on… and… on…

Have you ever watched a video and said out loud “Get to the point!


That’s the idea behind the famous quote from ad man George Lois: “Think Long. Write Short.”

It can be easy to write a lot about something you are excited about — your business for instance. But once you’ve got all your ideas on the page, it’s time to go back and rewrite. Read your copy out loud, or have someone else read your work and give notes. Speak plainly and make sure your words inform rather than confuse.

Write the type of copy that you’d like to read.

Great ideas can get lost in the delivery if you don’t whittle them down to something precise. Take the time to make sure whatever you are writing doesn’t trip over it’s own tail and lose the reader in the process!

Another one from the ever-quotable Lois: “It’s not how short you make it; it’s how you make it short.”

Practice making your writing as short and clear as it is in your head.

We love writing (and rewriting). If you want help with the copy for any project you are working on, we’d love to help! Contact Staffing Robot today!

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