Over the last couple of months hordes of eager blog readers (well, three or four) have been in touch to ask why, as we say at the football, it’s all gone quiet over there. One or two have even been kind enough to enquire about my wellbeing.
So just in case there’s anyone else out there who’s vaguely curious about the situation, but not quite to the extent of getting in touch about it, I thought I should explain.
My being is entirely well, thanks, and to be honest I’m not so horrendously busy to say that time doesn’t permit. But there are a couple of reasons why, for the second time in the not-far-off-ten-years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’m allowing myself a bit of a sabbatical.
One, just like the last time back in 2010, I seem to be running a trifle short of things to say. I know, I know, this is a non-issue for readers: most of the best blogs only ever say one or two different things and indeed probably the best in the advertising and marketing world, The Ad Contrarian, only ever says one (digital sucks). But it’s more of an issue for the writer. Revisiting a theme I’ve climbed all over at least a dozen times before, a terrible ennui tends to set in.
And then two, there’s a new and much more positive reason. I’m writing a book. Well, I’m not actually writing it yet, I’m planning and researching it. And it’s not just me – it’s a joint effort with my old friend Anthony Thomson, of Metro Bank and now Atom Bank fame. With just about 60 years of financial services marketing experience behind us, we figure we must have something to say on the subject, so we’re giving it a go.
I suppose it may not be immediately apparent why writing a book prevents me from also writing a blog, but it’s to do with not over-exercising the same mental muscles. Many years ago, I observed that the cliche about the advertising copywriter with the half-finished novel in the desk drawer is wrong. It’s not the copywriter, it’s the account handler or media planner. Writing advertising copy isn’t at all the same thing as writing a book, but it uses the same mental muscles, and after a day at the copy coalface the last thing most copywriters feel like is sitting down to write something. Whereas the account handler or media planner, writing muscles unwearied by the working day, is a whole lot more up for the challenge.
So, no more blogging until the book has made some serious progress. All being well, I’ll actually be writing it during the autumn, which raises an interesting deadline issue. The tenth anniversary of this blog arrives in early November. And it would be a pity still to be maintaining radio silence when that milestone comes around.