In this (somewhat different) piece, two creative directors from B-Reel imagine the creative process in terms of a boxing match: each round with a different opponent and how to overcome them.
In the blue corner we have the idea, full of guts, glory and passion. In the red corner, some of its most feared enemies — all ready to slice, dice and kill at first sight. Will you and your idea make it through all rounds or will you throw in the towel? Let’s get ready to rumble. Bell rings…
You come out strong with a barrage of fresh insights, new perspectives and ideas. But you’re confronted immediately by your first opponent — fear. Fear of failure, fear of judgement, fear of critique. This is a natural part of the process, whether you’re an advertising creative, an artist, a writer or even musician. All the greats who inspired you to pursue a creative career have gone through it. Take comfort in the fact that this is nothing more or less than an emotion, and remember that the only true failure is not trying at all.
You burst back out, ready to keep proving your idea’s worth, but you’re quickly hit with the one-two combo of criticism and feedback. It’s a classic move that has felled millions of ideas. But don’t lose hope. By taking criticism on the chin you can grow, improve and gain great insights which strengthen your idea. Use it to your advantage so that you’re well prepared for the coming rounds.
The next opponent is sly. It doesn’t come from outside; this one strikes from within: doubt. Doubt that the idea is worth pursuing, or that you have the skills to see it through to the end, questioning whether there is a better one around the corner. To move beyond this opponent, try remembering why you were excited about your idea in the first place. Find motivation and use doubt to critically examine your idea and see where you can make improvements to push yourself forward.
Who should come out swinging but our old pals statistics and data. Charts, diagrams, numbers. Some argue that there’s no way to defeat cold, hard fact, but stats have their weak spots too and the smartest data analysts never forget that humans can behave unpredictably. Data is a good north star so approach it with an open mind and listen to what it says — but be prepared with a counterpunch of gut feeling and human instincts for unique and unexpected ideas.
Oh, what now? It’s Artificial intelligence, a hotly tipped newcomer yet to prove its worth. Reputedly, AI produces moves, thoughts and ideas effortlessly — and faster than anyone in history. Is this when your time is up, or could it be that it’s not an opponent at all and is in fact your ideal sparring partner? Whether you’re experiencing writer’s block, your imagination is running dry or you just need a prompt, use this new member of your team for instant inspiration to keep moving forward.
A clean left hook out of nowhere and you’re the one getting knocked the f*** out. Yeah it hurts. But ideas die. Move on, take the learnings with you, and prepare for your next time in the ring. Whether you have a couple of fights under your belt, or are just getting started, a great idea is always worth fighting for. Heck, that’s what we humans have been doing since the beginning of time. Your best work is yet to come.
Featured image: B-Reel