Blog 2 minute readOne of my first jobs was working as a junior account handler in an ad agency, and when I told a senior copywriter about a small change that the client needed making to some copy, I was quickly told to “F*** off!”. When I later became a copywriter myself, I am pleased to say I never swore at account handlers, but I am ashamed of how I used to waste their time arguing over some of the changes clients wanted. Who did I think I was? Maybe I was right about some particular wording, but it was, ultimately, the client’s decision. As soon as I went freelance, I stopped wasting time on fruitless arguments, and if the client wanted to change some of my carefully crafted words into something more prosaic, then so be it. I often find that writers who work for themselves, are less precious about their work. Journalists know that their words are going to get changed by sub editors (should the publication employ any), and copywriters know that clients always have the final say. But as a writer, you do find that some people pander to your ego, and I imagine that for the more successful, it must go to their heads. For example, there are some lovely PROs who have praised my work extravagantly. When I asked one recently why she showered me with excessive compliments, she said it was out of habit, because she knew how fragile some “creative” egos can be. I just wonder if over-praising your clients and contacts, is ever a good idea? Everyone loves flattery, but if you come across as insincere it won‘t achieve anything. Conversely, if the person you are praising laps it up, then it may feed their ego, but it won‘t help them to fulfill their potential. If that senior writer who told me where to go had been treated less like a god, and more like a lesser mortal, he may have improved his manners, and more importantly, his writing.