Earlier this week, I started work on a project for a longtime client. He's a great guy, funny as hell, and I know exactly how he works: It starts with a kind of fuzzy, two-sentence email about what he wants the project to be. That's followed up by me giving him a call to find out the details...only to find out that there really aren't any yet, just kind of a big picture this-is-what-I-want-it-to-be. Next, he sends a couple of links to websites that kinda do what he wants to do, but not quite. Similar, but different.
Day two, he sends me a follow-up email to find out how it's going. Which prompts another call from me to say I need more information. Now, I click on the digital tape recorder, and play Mr. Reporter for a while, asking as many questions as I can, grasping at threads. The conversation ends, I transcribe the file, and I'm marginally farther along.
I start writing babble-style, then suddenly the piece starts to take form. Hmmm, not half bad. I shoot him the draft, he shoots a bunch of holes in it (as I mutter to myself, "Why didn't you tell me that earlier?), and I give it a rework. In the end, he's happy, I'm relieved, it's all good, another one's in the books.
The reality is, I wouldn't put up with these antics if I didn't genuinely like him and know that it's just the way he is. It wouldn't do me any good to try to change his style, either. I simply accept it, and I know I'll provide him a product that does what he needs it to do.
And the other reality is, it's kind of a kick to strap on my MacGyver mullet-wig, and create something explosive out of damn near nothing.
Now, where the heck did I put my Bic?