Hand piecing together a jigsaw

Photo credit: lizadaly


Second only to reading, a tricky jigsaw is a captivating way to glide peacefully through your vacant hours. And it was while abstracting order from the puzzling disarray of a jigsaw in France when I noticed the striking similarity between it and copywriting.

You start with chaos

And an uneasy feeling that some of the pieces might be missing. Yet you begin in earnest and turn over everything you find.

Early on there are distinctive bits that you can’t resist putting together even though you know you shouldn’t dive straight in until you’ve examined the big picture.

So you build the edges of the puzzle and work your way around, gradually forming the boundaries of your task. When that’s done you steadily build towards the detail at the centre, linking up with those juicy bits you couldn’t resist piecing together earlier.

Patience is critical

You have to know when to take a break before you feel dizzy from all that detail too. Or when to consult your reference points to make sure you’re on course for success.

After you’ve had time to ruminate on the challenge you’re ready to immerse yourself once again, refreshed and eager to solve the puzzle.

When you’re done

The solution always looks more elegant than you anticipated at the beginning. The colours richer, the dimensions more impressive or the detail more intricate than you imagined.