Those are the words of George Lois, a man most consider to be the original Mad Man. The real Don Draper, an ad man. He’s had some pretty solid successes through the years with products ranging from Stouffer’s to guiding a successful campaign to bring MTV into the public conscious. Even though Lois works in the world of advertising, his focus always starts with the word, rather than the visual. Lois surmises that a lot of us go first for the image by way of making ourselves a fun mood board before we set about writing anything at all.
I myself find this statement really profound, and it’s precisely my problem and why I actually publish so little of what I actually sit down to write: I get long winded. I write too much and I bore even myself. Or, I tire myself and can’t finish the piece and publish it. I think long enough about my topic, but then I write too long. I can’t write short. And that’s weird because I try to keep my responses and explanations short when it comes to face-to-face conversation. Perhaps is because I’m an introvert, but I also strongly believe in the adage that you shouldn’t use seven words when four will do.
Think long. Write short. Sage words from an ad man.