The first thing you might be asking yourself is: what exactly is the creative process?
Apparently, there are many different parts that make up the ‘creative process’ depending on what article you happen to be reading.
But when it comes down to it, the creative process is really quite simple; it’s about being inspired, formulating an idea,…and getting down and doing it, whatever ‘it’ may be.
For copywriters, this is more often than not the process you go through before getting something…anything…down on the blank page (or screen); often to a tight deadline.
That’s all fine and dandy in theory of course, but many of us don’t jump out of bed first thing in the morning with our heads full of a zillion zany ideas, taglines, and slogans (or not ones that we are instantly aware of) or at least I don’t anyway.
It’s more likely I had that killer idea the night before just as I was drifting off into the arms of Morpheus, who kindly wiped the thought from my mind before I awoke the next day.
With this in mind, I thought I would put together some of my tips for kicking the old ‘CP’ into touch.
You never know, they might help you too.
1 Get a ritual
What kicks off the creative process for you?
For me, a good old weed of the garden usually sparks an idea; for my partner, it is a walk in the woods. But it doesn’t have to be any of these.
A well-known comedian used to think of gags while brushing his teeth, whereas some people like to blast out some motivational music to get their creative juices flowing.
Whatever it is, take the time to find out what and where your creative ‘biting’ point is, the place you go or the ritual you like to follow to start generating ideas.
Personally, I can ‘feel’ the CP working. I know when I haven’t got it, and I know when I have.
Find your biting point, and take it from there.
2 Realise you don’t have to be the next Hemingway
Just because you are a great novelist, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can write good copy.
Furthermore; art and writing are subjective, so what one person considers as being the greatest strapline since sliced bread, will fall flat on someone else.
For example, I love ‘the Appliance of Science’ used by Zanussi , but it’s not for everyone…and I didn’t rush out and buy a Zanussi appliance as soon as I heard it…so perhaps it wasn’t that effective, or maybe it was just because I was 12 when the commercial was aired.
Even so, whenever I see a Zanussi washing machine in a shop, to this day I still turn to my husband and in a ‘for mash get smash’ voice repeat out loud “the appliance of science”.
Mixed metaphors? You bet!
But the point is, this tag line was created by this guy; not Shakespeare.
As I mentioned before here, you need to sometimes cut the cord on the grammarist within.
3 Find some creative space
There is a reason why creatives go on retreats; because they work.
There is nothing quite like getting away from it all and having your own secluded and peaceful space to think about things, cultivate ideas and not be distracted from the day to day activities that generally tend to fill up our lives.
A creative paradise if you like.
A break away from it all in nature can be a wonderful muse, and I highly recommend that all writers and artists should take the opportunity when they can to nurture their creative skills, by participating in some kind of activity or break at least once a year.
Okay, it’s not always practical to physically get away, but even so, it is possible to take some ‘me time’ and meditate for a little while on a daily basis, or just sit in quiet contemplation with the smart phone switched to mute.
Even if it is just for a few minutes.
Close your eyes and step inside the palace of your mind.
4 Just do ‘that thing’ from the really famous sports brand strapline.
You know. ‘It’.
In the words of Charles Bukowski; “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
There is a certain magic once you start jotting things down, just anything…you will soon find that something starts to happen, thoughts begin to flow, words come out.
And before you know it, hey presto! Where once there was a blank page there is now a sea of words.
And if the words don’t flow, don’t sweat it, know that they will come…eventually…and give yourself a break.
Remember, we can all be creative; it’s just a matter of tapping into that channel of creativity which is key.
And you will, just don’t force it…let it flow.
So, how do you kick start your CP?