I write visually, and almost always have done.
If someone asks me to rewrite their website, I take a screenshot of the site, import it into an editorial layout program, block out the existing content, approximate the font, size, leading and measure being applied by the stylesheet, and then begin writing.
Because it helps me get the copy spot on if I can ‘see’ it in the actual context in which it will be used.
I do this whether I’m writing a site, a sales letter, or a print item like a brochure. (In truth, if I’m doing a site from scratch, I’ll often draft the copy straight into an HTML editor in an approximation of how I think the page might end up.)
Now this works for me (and for my clients, to whom I generally provide the ‘copy visual’ as we call it, as a part of my deliverable, along with the .doc copysheet which is the actual deliverable as per my Terms and Conditions).
But am I alone in doing this? Does everyone else just write in Word, or similar, without needing to ‘feel’ the copy in situ, or are there lots of other ‘visual’ writers out there?