The trouble with “getting out of the office”

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.

3 thoughts on “The trouble with “getting out of the office”

  1. I think the clue might be ‘long and difficult’;
    if that’s the problem assigned, then maybe
    the billable result needs to show evidence of difficulty and effort, not its reverse…?

  2. Ca c’est comment les Francais ont dit aux Allemands… et voila, deux fois! Quest-ce qu’ on doit croire? Est-ce que nous sommes des comptoirs d’haricots ou les singes, non, les anges, de la prose pourpre?

  3. [Stuffed shirts.] “That’s what the French said about the Germans and, lo, look what happened to them, twice. What is one to believe? Are we bean counters or monkeys, no, angels of the purple prose?”

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