I think it starts with starting
Last week while redoing my website, I looked back at many words I wrote and projects I had created in the time before I started working as a strategist in advertising.
I realise now I miss that guy who sometimes created interesting, intelligent and funny digital things. The original, prolific version of me who did it without the advertising industry approved label of being a “creative.”
It’s not that I don’t like the new version of me. The more adult, collaborative, business aware, and strategic person that is now mates with hundreds of talented, generous and lovely humans whom I only know thanks to advertising.
But. It’s hard to deny that my creative output has diminished significantly over the last eight years.
Back then, I wrote up to ten blog posts a day. In the last six years, just one. The two years before that, maybe ten in total.
Back then, I launched well over one hundred side projects; a couple got crazy big, the rest failed, which I was always okay with and not fussed by at all. The last eight years, just one.
Back then, I would jump at the chance to be part of radio shows; I did a fortnightly segment on ABC Local Radio just because I always said yes. The last eight years, I have yet even to upload any of the ten episodes from three separate podcast shows I’ve conceptualised, produced and recorded.
It is not that I have not been creatively busy. As an advertising strategist, I’ve been fortunate to work as an advisor and director of other people’s creativity with some of the biggest agencies and clients in the country. But it has made me completely weirded out at the thought seeing my ideas or thinking in the real world.
I’ve had the intent. I’ve planned projects. I’ve registered domain names. So many domain names. I even started doing the hard part of applying the creative skills of writing, designing, and coding. But as far as being willing to get the ideas to a stage I will share them publicly. LOL. Nope.
I think that I think through stuff so much now that it utterly paralyses me. I’ve over strategized and over planned my ideas.
Fuck strategy. It is all strategy’s fault (it’s actually just all my fault).
Within advertising agencies, strategists are asked to overthink stuff so much our brains should be strong enough to perform telekinesis. But the overthinking is coming from either, a negative perspective (e.g., if the idea is not good enough, it won’t win an award) or from high expectations of success (as it should with us being commercial creative servants to our clients).
But with personal expressions of creativity, it should be done without any expectation of success or negativity of it not being good enough.
I need to relearn this.
To do that, I think it starts with starting.
And this is the start. The first blog post of (hopefully) one hundred blog posts over the next one hundred days. All in an attempt to snap me out of this strange aversion to seeing my work and thinking out in the real world.
The basis for this challenge to myself is the weird logic that the more you do something, the better you should get at it.
Let’s just see what happens.