If I had more time
I would have written less
By Adam Fausset
There is a quote which I like to run out, ad nauseam. Almost to the point where I’ve invented its origin in my head. You know what I mean. You say something so much that the story around it is total fact in your head. And when you bore people with it, you say it so emphatically and with such utter belief that people believe you without a whiff of doubt.
So what is it?
Well I say it’s this ‘If I had had more time I would have written less’
I love it.
It’s a contradiction in terms. But for me, one of the great truths in advertising.
You see, word smithing is an art (I’m doing my best here, but I haven’t got a lot of time!)
The longer a piece of prose is, the longer a story goes on, the more likely people will lose interest.
The digital world is proof of this.
This means they never get to the end of the story and so that indelible print is nowhere to be seen.
In one ear out the other.
Almost without doubt, the best advertising, particularly print, outdoor and digital is simple, insightful, knowing and to the point.
Please prove me wrong if you can. There are always some anomalies. A minor whiff as it were!
So below are some examples, old and new and urr… some obvious:
But what about the origin of that saying I hear you say? Get to the point, practise what you preach Mr blogger man.
I tell people its Samuel Pepys. They nod sagely. Hmm, bloke in London in the 17thC.
He wrote ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’ I guess that kinda fits.
Well I googled this bad boy. And I got nowhere.
Blaise Pascal is cited as saying something similar, as is Churchill and Cicero.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter. It can be anybody, the fact is, if you apply this logic to your working life in the ad world, you’ll do well.
Just make sure you have enough time.