Hi there! I’m Vicky, and I’m currently doing an internship for El Autobús. I graduated a couple of months ago from college, and lately I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut in terms of work. I guess you could call it writer’s block, except I’m not a writer. Anyways, I thought it’d be a good idea to ask people around the office about their rules for creative work. I got some gems that I thought I could share with you all, so here goes!
Don’t underestimate the power of the brainstorm
The problem with great ideas is that they’re not exactly easy to come by. Brainstorming is a tried and true method of squeezing out every drop of creativity from your noodle -- and it’s better in teams! Oh, and don’t take yourself too seriously when brainstorming. Sometimes the most out-there idea can become the next great campaign.
Know what you want from the start
Setting a clear goal is key. When working creatively, our minds and the subject tend to wander quite a bit. Make sure you’re clear on what you want to accomplish first, and then stray all you want.
Learn to murder your darlings
We all have to at some point. You know that one idea you had that you really love but you can’t find where to fit it in? Well, kill it. Just because you love it so much does not mean that it’s supposed to go there. Don’t feel too bad, though, because it will probably fit perfectly in your next project. Just make sure you keep it in a safe place! (See: Rule 6)
A flexible schedule never killed nobody
You know how people say that the early bird gets the worm? Well, don’t underestimate the night owl. Brains don’t all work on the same schedule. Sometimes your best idea might strike when you wake up in the middle of the night because your stomach’s upset from that burrito you ate. You’ll probably be more successful if you let your ideas flow than if you try to force them.
Find something you like, then take it one step further
It’s okay for ideas to be good. It’s better if they grow. Once you’re at a point where you’re happy with your work, see if you can make it better. Yes, it’ll be more work, but isn’t it better to love it rather than just like it?
Write it all down
Seriously, keep a notepad next to your bed. Your brainstorms, your midnight burrito ideas, write it all down. There’s nothing better than being stuck on something and then finding that tiny scribble in your notebook from three years ago that solves all your problems. It could happen! Probably, though, you will find great old ideas or notes that will work in the future. It’s also a blast to read through your thoughts from a while ago.
Trust feedback, but trust your gut more
Don’t get discouraged just because the first person you show your work to tells you they don’t like it. If your project is smart and solid, then it will work -- it just needs to be workshopped. You’re smart and you know what you’re doing. Trust yourself. If it really doesn’t work, then keep the idea in your notebook for next time.
Post by Victoria Rosenthal Madrid