Too much information, Norrie.

09Nov09

donkeyI have a friend called Norrie. He’s famous for hilarious but graphic stories.

We often tell him “TMI, Norrie. TMI.”  It slows him down a little, but not much.

We suffer from a different kind of TMI in life, all the time. We get too much of it. And we give too much of it.

Ever been reading a map in the car and have to turn the radio off to take it in?

Ever started giving directions to someone and realise you’re on w-a-a-ay too much detail? They’ll never remember it.

It’s not lack of data we suffer from. It’s lack of clarity. In life, in briefs, in everything.

The phrase “Burning your boats” is actually a liberating strategy. When the Romans invaded Britan, they burned their boats. No going back. They were committed. Which made them more focussed, more resourceful, and a lot more successful.

Making it hard for yourself also makes you more creative.

Shakespeare wrote in sonnets because it was difficult. I was once at an ideas workshop in BBC drama. We just pulled stuff out of a trunk and started a story off on the back of that. A Barbie doll. A plastic sword. A coconut. A scarf. Anything to get the ideas going. And sometimes letting the need bully you into action is what you want as a creative. With too many choices, you freeze.

Paralysis by analysis.

A brief that says “do anything you like, just be creative” might feel creative. But it’s the opposite.

A tight brief makes you focus.

Less is more. In the brief, as well as in the execution.

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