How split personalities begin • 16 May 2008 • The SnowBlog
How split personalities begin
There's a little piece in the latest Bookseller sort of written by me. I wrote the first draft, but it's changed a bit since then. Something like that always seems to happen and it's a weird thing being rewritten. I like to think that with a clear brief I'm not a bad writer. I wrote a book about retail strategy a while back and the global head of McKinsey was very complimentary about it. Stuart Rose (boss of M&S) liked it enough to give a quote for the cover. I've also had some success with fiction. I think you could find my novels without too much trouble in most European countries (including this one). So all in all, I don't tend to feel like I need someone to step in and fix my prose for me. A hint or two is all I need. So if you happen to see the article and you wonder why, instead of ridiculing phrases like 'Publishers often engage with questions of finance...' or 'The clarity this affords is paramount;' I seem to suddenly be embracing that sort of corporate silly-speak, the answer is that my words were given a smart new suit of clothes and a haircut after I finished with them. I also would have baulked at humouring publishing technophobes to quite the extent I now appear to have done, but that's journalism for you. Just because I didn't quite say it and don't entirely stand by it doesn't mean it shouldn't be printed with my name on it. So why didn't I object? Because it's not a bad article, it's just not quite how I would have expressed myself. So I simply asked to share the byline with the author of so much of its content. And at least on the evidence of the online copy, that seems to have been edited out as well.