Today is the birthday of my first advertising boss. He is 71.
He was my boss when I was a young copywriter at Bloomingdale's. When you work in retail advertising you write write write. Sometimes ten ads a day. You get really precise, really fast really quickly.
That said, every so often you get an ad you just can't get. Maybe the buyers (the client when you're in retail) aren't clear about what they want. Maybe product specs changed. Maybe you yourself are trying to do something a little different for retail. In any event, you're struggling.
I was in that situation almost 30 years ago and my first boss taught me a lesson I think about almost every day. Having written and rewritten the copy a dozen times I still wasn't getting anywhere. My boss came in, read what I wrote and said "tear it up and start completely over." You know, don't work from a previous draft, don't try to fix things that are over-fixed already.
I've always kept that in mind. And it's almost always worked.