Just shipped one of those copy projects that leaves your screen cluttered with four open applications, three open LibreOffice files, six Markdown text files, two different text editors, Dropbox and Google Drive windows, and a command line terminal.
That’s not counting the Moleskine notebook and mess of paper documents hiding my desktop.
In other words, it’s been the kind of week when I look down and idly realize I’ve worn the same shirt three days in a row.
Call it deadline fatigue or call it overworking, but in any case, don’t call me until next week.
How To Be A Lazy Writer
After I left college for an ad agency job, I only half-jokingly told an art director I became a copywriter because I couldn’t handle the organizational demands of other forms of writing.
Back then, tech writers were saddled with zillions of documents (and engineers), and they had to deal with nasty items like tables, graphs and diagrams.
Journalists were burdened by notebooks, phone interviews and and the need to decipher opaque government records. They also had to occasionally tell the truth.
My creative writing friends constructed pages-long outlines and maintained unruly piles of notes, mostly on scrap paper.
It all seemed like work.
To my fevered 20-something mind, that left two possibilities.
Poetry. Or copywriting.
And I couldn’t rhyme (nobody told me about free verse).
So copywriting it was.
At first, it worked out. I was conceiving and writing ad campaigns with little more than a creative brief cluttering my desk. Maybe a sketch pad and pencils.
Simple. Neat. I was on top of it.
Times Have Changed
My last annual report project saw me extracting information from five websites, three Word files filled with written “client input,” notes from three interviews, and three pages of notes I scribbled while the client was talking.
Today’s creative brief is likely to include several websites loosely identified as source material. And a directive “to Google” your way to the rest of the information.
Simply put, information overload isn’t solely the domain of the online surfer.
To cure this, I offer little or no useful advice. In fact, in a break with all civilized blogging protocols, this is an advice-free blog post.
There is not a single bullet point in sight. I freely admit I’m just whining today.
Keep writing, Tom Chandler.