Fancy a steaming hot cup of freshly brewed arse cappuccino?

I can’t be sure, but I think it was the “little horse’s tongue cleaning your butt” line that did it.

I was working on an email sequence for a bidet company.

(I was hoping that would give you complete context, but you probably still have questions)

My memory’s a little hazy, but I THINK we were given carte blanche when it came to humour.

Now, as a frequent visitor to “What the hell were you smoking when you wrote this?” country (I now have dual a passport), this delighted me no end.

I held nothing back in my first draft. I let my imagination go nuts and came up with all manner of weird gags related to the art of bottom buffing.

Anyway, turns out there’s carte blanche…

… and then there’s what I wrote.

I’m not one to boast (because someone as awesome at boasting as me shouldn’t have to), but…

I think I might have invented a new category of carte blanche-ness.

(I’m going to call it: “For the love of God, John. Is everything OK at home?”)

As devastated as I was about my “freshly brewed arse cappuccino” line not making the cut, my copy chief offered some hope:

“I’d much rather you go too far. It’s much easier to tone something down than force some personality into something dull.”

Thing is, I knew this already… I just didn’t think anyone else did.

It’s something I learned as a magician.

You see, it’s easy for a performer who can handle rough crowds to tone down their performance for a quieter audience.

But a quiet performer is gonna struggle to engage the rough crowd at a sports dinner or the heckling, violent, drunken madness that is the Wythenshawe Octogenarians Floristry Society.

This “down is easier than up” rule (The Gravity Principle?) is why I’m a big fan of writing shitty, brainstormy, throw-every-brain-fart-in-there first drafts.

During my first draft of anything, I throw in everything I think I MIGHT use – ideas, quotes, gags, whatever.

Selecting and deleting is so much easier than staring at a gap and wondering…

“How the hell am I gonna fill that?”

And you don’t have to worry about “killing your darlings”, as Stephen King wrote. Just copy any deleted ideas into Evernote, and save them for another email.

I suppose it comes down to which writing problem you’d rather have…

1) Too many ideas

2) Not enough ideas

And if you’re in camp number 1…

Here’s something you might like.

John Holt