When I have long and/or difficult things to write, I like to get out of the office. In fact, ideally, I like to get out of the country, heading down to my second home in the middle of the French countryside.
While I’m there I’m extremely productive. As a result of the combination of guilt and relaxation, I do masses of stuff – and, on the whole, I’m pleased with it. I think my writing from France tends to have an accessible, conversational quality which makes it quite engaging to read.
The interesting thing, though, is that when I come to think about it I realise that on the whole, it goes down very badly indeed with clients. Usually, if truth be told, the week after I come back from a French writing jaunt is spend mostly rewriting the stuff I did while I was there. And when I say rewriting, I mean start-again time, not just a few small tweaks.
Why is this? As far as I can see, there are only two possible explanations. One is that when I go there, my judgement goes haywire and what I do isn’t half as good as I think it is. The other is that the clients in question are stuffed shirts who don’t want accessible and engaging stuff.
Given that a few of them read this, it’s probably just as well that I genuinely don’t know which.