Creative ideas didn’t always come naturally to me. In fact, I suffered from a lack of creative thought at a particularly bad time: my first job in a copywriting agency.
What are you thinking?
I remember coming into the office one Monday morning and my manager asked me if I’d thought any more about one of the projects we were working on the week before. I was stunned. My answer was no, and I had no idea he was expecting me to be thinking about it over the weekend.
He then gave me the copywriter’s version of the ‘I’m not mad, I’m disappointed’ speech. He told me that copywriting isn’t a career where your brain shuts down at 5 p.m. on Friday and boots up again at 9 a.m. on Monday; you should always be thinking creatively.
I was worried. I had always thought of myself of being a creative person, and when you work on creative things and your brain isn’t having any ideas, it can’t be a good thing.
I also think a part of me didn’t like the thought of work cutting into my free time. I wanted to leave my work life at work, and focus solely on my social life at the weekend.
Always on my mind
Sometime after I’d finished working for that agency, though, I noticed my brain starting to get a bit more proactive.
I found myself needing to take notebooks whenever I went out, otherwise I had nowhere to write my ideas down. I had to get out of bed at 1 a.m. and jot my thoughts down or I’d forget about them.
Now, there are times when I miss out on minutes of work because my mind is poking at the post-it notes on my desk from inside my skin and won’t stop pestering me until I pick up a pen and jot my thoughts down.
Something else I’ve noticed during this spike in creative thinking is how happy it makes me feel. This may be because I’ve finally got the mentality I’m supposed to have for working in the creative industries.
For the love of writing
I’m not normally one to offer advice, but if anyone reading this is in a similar situation to the one I’ve described, remember to tell yourself the following: I’m not a creative thinker. Yet.
If you love what you do enough, the things you need to do it will come eventually. Oh, and thank the author Caitlin Moran for that internal confidence booster.