By Train from the Pitch Report May 2014
Ok, that’s a lie but it’s a white lie… with dark bits in it. It’s a grey lie.
A common misconception: great places to gather ideas or read books, articles or blogs double as a great places to write and create messages that will resonate with your target audience.
As is the case with many businesses these days, there is a little bit of travel required of the Line & Length team – it comes with the territory. Being a fairly busy marketing agency, we don’t always get to produce our EDMs, copy and marketing programmes from the comfort of L&L Towers. During the last month alone I have done a fair bit of writing in Brisbane and Melbourne and last week I was forced to ply my trade from the hammocks and palm frond-framed surrounds of picturesque Port Vila in Vanuatu.
I know what you’re thinking and I agree. Not ideal! It sounds like a joke but I’m serious.
Let me quickly describe a typical afternoon in a resort in Vila. For this example, I will reference the Holiday Inn, nestled in the idyllic surrounds of Tessariki estate with the placid tropical waters of Erakor Lagoon lapping at its shores (Ed. product placement? Are you serious? Who got to you? I’m not going back to prison for you… um) you get the picture. So, you return from a local kava bar for a lavish, poolside, Melanesian lunch. You ignore that “wait 20minutes before swimming” rule because it’s just some stupid myth and plunge straight into the deep end for a few laps. An hour later, you’ve been revived, there’s no more water in your lungs and the cramps have subsided. A small crowd of tourists is applauding the efforts of a huge Samoan doctor hovering over you as you belch chlorinated water and groggily search your brain for recollections of a mouth to mouth encounter with this kindly Pacific Island behemoth. A touch embarrassed, you slither on your belly to the nearest sun lounger and order a blueberry almond martini with a rum punch chaser to settle the nerves.
Now, I am not saying that was me. I don’t even like blueberries so case closed. That said, you might imagine that in the ensuing hours, the warm afternoon breezes, sunshine and yet more “refreshments” would be conducive to reading or dreaming up new and exciting angles for ad campaigns (read hallucinating). Maybe. Producing copy that accurately reflects and enhances the value of your brand? Doubtful.
The lesson: be open-minded, outward focused and adventurous when considering ways to promote your brand. Feel free to absorb stimulus (visual) from any and all sources. Immerse yourself in the world and all that it holds. Like a wide-eyed, 1960s, wannabe Hollywood starlet at her first Rolling Stones after-party, simply say yes to everything and if you survive … Oh the stories you’ll have to tell. But when it comes time to distilling these Hunter S. Thompson-esque scenes down into something useful, there’s nothing like a quiet room, empty of distractions, hallucinogens and tasselled groupies. (Ed. really?)
Some DOs and DON’Ts for choosing a writing space.
- Keep the basic necessities close at hand: coffee, natural light, fresh air, coffee, water, bathroom, coffee.
- Maintain a vaguely arctic temperature: bitter cold is distracting, warmth is a little too pleasant and relaxing, but a subconscious discomfort due to a nagging notion that it’s getting cold keeps you alert and keen to finish the tasks at hand.
- Keep favourite movie titles and magazines out of your direct line of sight: the last thing you need is easy access to segues. One minute you’re galloping along at 3pages/hour, the next you’re wondering if George Clooney’s character in “The Perfect Storm” would have survived if only he maintained a positive attitude. Okay, let’s go there . See how easy it is to get distracted?
- Befriend animals and/or birds that might perch outside your window sill
- Disappear off somewhere without telling anyone. Isolation is good, too much isolation is very bad: Just ask James Caan
- Choose fur as a preferred wall covering: Listen to Russell Brand and P-diddy. (Ed. link removed as it is too funny and rude and funny and obscene... and funny)
The truth is that where you write, the environment in which you’ve chosen to set out your ideas, will have a bearing on the output. That said I will do everything in my power to have a Line Length office up and running on Efate island by early 2016.
Watch this space and waiter, could I get another of these delicious blueberry drinks.
Tank yu tu mas.