The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Great Creativity Leaves Scars …

So a few weeks ago, I talked to The Kennedy’s about something that rarely gets talked about … and that is there’s times where the creative process feels like a battle.

Sometimes it feels like you’re fighting your colleagues … sometimes it feels like you’re fighting your clients … sometimes it feels like you’re fighting yourself … but here’s the thing, it’s absolutely OK to experience these things because in my experience, nothing great happens if there hasn’t been tension along the way.

Of course there’s a point where decisions and directions have to be made and everyone needs to unite behind an idea to make it sharper and push where it can go [which should happen once you’ve tried stuff rather than just talked about the theory of it] but the fact remains nothing worth doing can be achieved without some scars and frustrations along the way … so rather than hide from it, embrace it.

8 little things that can ensure it’s only a momentary battle, not a bloody war …

1. Focus on the idea not your ego.
2. Try things, don’t just talk about them.
3. Be passionate but never be personal.
4. Remember everyone wants the same thing.
5. Hear feedback as help, not attacks.
6. Listen before you speak.
7. Rally behind decisions.
8. You can tell when the work was fun to make.

It has taken me almost 30 years to learn these things, but the difference it makes is huge – both to your personal fulfilment and the work you get to be a part of.

Of course, for it to work, everyone needs to understand this and practice it* … but when they do, more often than not you come out of it with something you’re all excited and proud of, which is what it’s supposed to be and why this industry – when it’s good – is very good indeed.

Don’t worry, I won’t be writing any more semi-professional posts for at least 1000 years.


* It hopefully goes without saying that stuff like having a great brief, a great team and a fair amount of time to explore possibilities [etc etc] has already been accounted for.


21 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Fantastic post Robert. Please do more like this.

Comment by George

You mean you don’t like his posts about his best mates penis size?

Comment by DH

he fucking loves them.

Comment by andy@cynic

I try not to admit that.

Comment by George

You don’t have to George, we all know.

Comment by DH

And in an instant, my semi-serious post ends up as some adolescent penis banter.

Comment by Rob

I hope you’re not saying your best mate’s an adolescent.

Comment by John

8 very valuable rules Robert. I will be passing these on.

Comment by Lee Hill

They are also excellent rules for business.

Comment by Lee Hill

Thank you Lee.

Comment by Rob

trying to get another free fucking upgrade arent you, you crawly little toad.

Comment by andy@cynic

Of course creativity leaves scares when you are sent into battle by an aggressive general. (Yes Rob, I called you a general but it’s not meant as a compliment.)

Comment by DH


Comment by andy@cynic

bit fucking different from your rules when i worked with you. they were basically whine like a bitch because no one is doing what you fucking want them to do.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Rob

9. Schedule all work when certain people are on vacation.

This is not as limiting a constraint as you might first imagine.

Comment by John

thats how we got all out good shit through. no planners around to fuck things up.

Comment by andy@cynic

#8 is very true.

What a great list. I wish this had been around when I was starting out, it would have made things much more positive.

Comment by Pete

I think it’s more a case of everyone needing this list when we started out rather than just one person.

Comment by Rob

Well I sent this to everyone in my department to make that happen.

Comment by Pete

[…] A while back – when I was running The Kennedys – I told the guys about how hard it is to make great work. […]

Pingback by Creativity Without Bruises And Scars Is Not Great Creativity … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

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