Creative Techniques: The Single Biggest Threat To Creativity

Commercial creativity has a growing flaw, exacerbated by the demands of business and new communication platforms.

The flaw is now. That one syllable word has caused more damage to creativity than any other. Business are pushing creatives to create instant ideas, and ideas which can be implemented instantly.

If your idea takes time, forget it. If it’s not going to have an impact of this quarter’s profits, or this term in office, we’re not interested. The lack of faith in the long term can be soul destroying.

Of course, there are plenty of companies who do think differently and plan creatively for the long term, but the companies snapping at their heels are too often the ones scrabbling for instant creativity, in order to jump ahead.

So how do you, as a creative type, overcome the need for now? If you’re in marketing or advertising, you probably can’t, but what you can do is plan properly. Make sure you file all your ideas for a rainy day (see The Boring Way To Creative Success) and never, ever, ever throw out an idea because it doesn’t fit now.

Don’t be afraid that you’ll be ‘rehashing’ an old idea. If the core of the idea is sound, it’s worth nurturing. File it away, let it grow and develop in the background, and make sure it’s ready when now rolls around again.

The bible (don’t panic, I’m not the religious type) said There’s Nothing New Under The Sun, but Ambrose Pierce revitalised that quote beautifully.

There’s Nothing New Under The Sun, But There Are Lots Of Old Things We Don’t Know.

Sometimes, now can take years to create.

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