There were days back in the 90′s where I wouldn’t see daylight for 2-3 days. I know what you’re thinking. I wasn’t a junkie. I was a musician who wrote songs. And sometimes the creative process would take me to a place where time would stand still and passing hours would feel like minutes…literally.
Artistic people call it the “flow” ; it’s the point where what you are creating doesn’t even feel like it is you who is creating it. You’re hyper focused on one single thing.
That is a good thing. The bad thing is the coming down process. After everything is said and done…once you have been through such a session, you are totally spent and emotionally bankrupt. You heal with time off and then you do it all over again. It can even be mimicked with things like running or meditation (without the side effects).
When you are in the full throes of marketing and I mean the creative side, you can generate the same effects on a much smaller scale. The process is the same. You brainstorm for hours and then move to creating. And as you create, you refine until you have a piece of ad copy that is exactly what you want.
And then comes the crash.
This wouldn’t be a problem when you are creating for yourself. But what if you are doing it as a job? What then? One of the things I have been struggling with recently is the fact that the creative side of client work pulls energy that would otherwise be used for my own endeavors. Burn out happens. But when you have multiple things to do and deadlines to meet, you can’t really take a break…or if you do, you have to preplan one that fits in with the needs of your clients.
I’ve learned to manage a lot of this by de-cluttering my life. I’ve cut down online and offline distractions to increase focus on the task at hand. I’ve also set rather rigid rules as to when I work and when I don’t (although this sometimes doesn’t happen…I tend to obsess over things which means that my brain sometimes doesn’t switch off when I “clock out”)
And I tend to try to mix it up. Not all client work is creative. Some work is simply monkey work ; turning knobs and analyzing data. SEO work falls into that category as does pay-per-click analysis and even some back end web maintenance. This way, back to back creative sessions don’t happen as frequently. But when they do, I can definitely feel the drain.
What about you? Do you feel the artistic drain when you are building creative ad campaigns?