{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Any tips on being a good mentor for junior writers?? First time having someone under my wing.", "post_id": "60db8f28e2a4920020a0c3e2", "reply_count": 19, "vote_count": 12, "bowl_id": "591a223804ff130016b983f4", "bowl_name": "Copywriters" }

Any tips on being a good mentor for junior writers?? First time having someone under my wing.

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1. Support and develop their voice. Don’t try to force yours on them. 2. Remember, there’s always another way to say something. Even if you wouldn’t have said it that way, read the words with an open mind. 3. Give them a few chances to get it right before you step in. And, when you do step in, explain why you made the changes. There’s plenty more. But, I’d say the fact that you’re even asking how to be a good mentor is the most important one of all. It means you care and that will take you far. Good luck!

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^Hope my old boss is reading this

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So much of writing happens in the head, then we end up wondering if what we just thought up is "good enough" to verbalize. Try to approach the page as peers, no levels, no ego. Your writer might feel very intimidated or have imposter syndrome. They might freeze. Create a safe space. Get the diarrhea out and out of the way. Write together. It's fun if you're jamming headlines. If time permits and you have the luxury, go over feedback together and edit together too so they can see the process live and you can hash it out. Articulate how you approach a concept or different POVs to get to a line before you craft it. That's key to learning. The crafting comes with experience and isn't easily taught. Especially style, show by example. Yours or lines you love. New writers tends to overthink and overwrite like new designers tend to overdesign. I've found the best tip for that is to write it two ways: super straight and what passes for "copywritten" in the writer's head. Then find the middle. New writers will throw every trick in their arsenal on a page of long copy until it gets too cute or too much. Like ending every paragraph with a quip. Cadence is usually fixed by reading copy out loud, watch out for too many syllables etc. Simple words. Edit with a light touch for clarity and simplicity, not rewrite, not for style. Every writer hates having other fingerprints all over their work. Some supervisors mark up a copy deck with so many comments and rewrite asks it gets paralyzing and crushing for the new writer. Always always edit with changes tracked. The onus is on the writer to observe and learn, ask if they don't get it or want to push back. If something is unclear, ask what they're trying to say. Suggest alts. Ask what their favorite lines and phrases are. Add it to your selects if headlines are being picked by another CD. Create space for your writer's input so you don't become the sole arbiter of what passes for "good", let your writer own something and have a win. You learn as much in the process. Mentoring helps make you a better writer too. I enjoy it greatly, nah I love it. Especially if you have a junior who's open and receptive and love language as much as you do. I try to be upfront and transparent with my juniors. I feel a lot of this is subjective and I let them know. Style is really just personal taste. Ultimately just as copywriters should be invisible when taking on a brand voice, you too should be invisible. You're here to polish the diamond in the rough.

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Remember why you hired them. They have something you don’t have. Perspective. Energy. Youth. Voice. Experience. (Or an unjaded lack thereof.) Use it appropriately. I believe in “each one, teach one”, so show them how the sausage is made. Sometimes juniors have to be there to soften the beaches, but try your best not to re-write and flex on their work.

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@creative2 — you got me there.

I make every young Copywriter/Intern start every new brand they touch with 20-25 belief statements. Not only is it a great exercise for understanding what the brand they’re working on stands for, it also gives them the opportunity to flex some creative muscle by stating these things in the most creative way possible, which 9 times outta ten ends up becoming the starting point for headlines for whatever project they’re working on. Sounds stupid, but I’ve found it super valuable in teaching young writers how to think through and communicate what a brand is all about.

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A really big tip: make every piece of writing an opportunity to be as creative as possible. Post copy, banners, email. Those seem like throw away assignments but are great exercises for junior writers on how to make something they can be proud of out of something insignificant. Even if it’s not a portfolio piece, it can be well crafted. I urge juniors or interns to do that. Find a way to be clever, always.

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@CW3 — that’s why you teach them “straight & great”

Following because my agency is making me give copy feedback and teach juniors. We don’t have a creative director 😖

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Mentor them how you would want to be mentored. Always, ALWAYS, give rationale to why their writing should be changed. Everything should be a teachable moment. Don’t be an asshole when editing their work. Give them the freedom to figure things out themselves, even if it’s a time crunch. Tell them the tricks of the trade. Take them to post production so they can learn things early. Give them the opportunity to present so they get good at it.

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Be like the mentor you had or always wish you had. I was working account management for years but a senior CW took me under her wing and taught me about her craft but always pushing me to perfect mine. It allowed me to get freelance work, hustle on agency projects and ultimately get me an opportunity to do it full time. She now co rubies that mentorship on the daily with open and honest feedback but also tells me that if I truly disagree with her that I need to convince her because that’s how I have been establishing my voice, by defending my work that I believe in. Always room for compromise but the thuggery has to be there.

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Wear deodorant.

Don’t look for them to solve things your way. Help them solve it better their way. #chewwithyourmindopen

when i was an intern, i wished people realized that i was completely new to things and sometimes i had no idea what they were talking about. remember to break things down as much as possible. and honestly, translate agency/work talk to english because they most likely have no idea what different acronyms mean. be patient.

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