In this bonkers career, everywhere you work will be different. One day you might be creating a ‘safe’ but original campaign, the next you might be in an agency looking for destruction and madness… Then before you know it, you’re working in music.
It’s all about learning who you are, as creative. What YOU want to create. Not creating what is expected of you and trying to fit in. This means having to experience situations where your ideas are either labeled as shit or absolute genius. Honestly, both are as important as one another.
Some will want a polished, all singing, all dancing presentation. Others will love being handed a napkin, that has one word written on it.
I am here to warn you, that this could induce the feeling that I have now named “Creative constipation”. When you don’t really know who you are as a creative, therefore not knowing what work to produce. Sitting for hours and producing… Nothing. Covering pages and pages in sharpie scribbles aaaaaaand… Nothing. Staying awake all night… And guess what?! STILL NOTHING. Not one campaign idea. Nada.
And you know what? I do exactly. The. Same.
How reassuring is that? I love hearing that.
Now, this feeling may induce panic and a strong desire to hop on a plane and never return. But you’re always going to be creative, your talent never goes away. Trust your ability, it’s always there, it just might be taking a seriously inconsiderate nap.
So.. What do you do when you have been hit with creative constipation?
(Personally, I turn to incense sticks, napping and hope for the best. Followed by increased consumption of jam tarts.)
- Go for a drive.
- Explore Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter. (Warning – Procrastination will occur)
- Ask people questions.
- Find weird insights.
- Find problems.
- Write everything down. Every. Thing. Even the dumbest idea could be lead to the greatest campaign.
Remind yourself that it’s okay to not have the answer just yet. Trust yourself that after hours, days or maybe even weeks of sleepless nights, a growing pile of ripped out pages, and packets of empty jam tart boxes… You will find your solution.
And you will have a blunt sharpie, a thinner notepad (because shit ideas are a thing) and a handful of great ideas to show for it. All ready to be criticised to the nth degree. YAY.
I hope this helps anyone else feeling like they’re ready to cry and take up pole dancing.
Breathe. You got this.
At the top there, is a picture of my stack of shit ideas, 6 good ideas in my noticeably thinner notepad and a blunt sharpie. Just to prove that it is, in fact, possible to survive a creative blockage.
Top tip – Hugs from a giant stuffed unicorn not only helps but muffles screams.