One of the best, but sometimes the most frustrating, things about being in the entertainment industry is using creativity and imagination to put together a unique piece that will stand out from the crowd.
There are some days that I just feel like a schlub when it comes to coming up with content, especially when I’m just not into the project that I need to get done. I once took a freelance job where I created print materials for a documentary, and part of that included writing copy to attract potential donors to the project. The subject of the documentary wasn’t quite my cup of tea and there was a lot of staring at a blank screen struggling to come up with content. (No, friends, I don’t charge by the hour.)
When you’re having a mind-blanking moment like that, get a more creative streak going with some of these easy dos and don’ts:
- …search other creative content. That doesn’t mean search for something to copy, but it means get the juices flowing. Sometimes looking at the works of others can really spark some thoughts of what you can create.
- …disconnect from technology. If I’m on my computer and there is no need for me to be online to do my work, I turn off the WiFi on my computer. Off. O-F-F. In the middle of a thought process after you’ve been struggling, one e-mail notification or Google Hangout chat window can totally throw you off.
- …get comfortable. I get nothing done at the office because dress pants, heels, and a button-down shirt are just not comfortable. All day, my mind focuses on how badly I want a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. But being comfortable doesn’t mean working from your couch or bed, that’s a sure way to start drifting off to Lazy Land.
- …scribble, doodle, and sketch. There is nothing that gets creativity going like a pen and paper. I’m not saying you have to write an entire screenplay by hand, but jotting down notes and doodling ideas by hand rather than by handheld device will definitely make you feel more like you are using imagination to put together an inspirational piece.
- …give yourself enough time to get it done. If your mind is continuously wondering if you have enough time to get something done before a deadline, anxiety and stress are going to push creativity and innovation to the back burner. Sometimes having the option of “sleeping on it” can provide a fresh perspective the next day.
- …drink alcohol. While a beer or two might make you a bit wittier at the bar, it doesn’t necessarily make you wittier on canvas. If you’re creating a piece for a client, this is an obvious no-no.
- …watch TV. I thought I was just being dramatic when I told my boyfriend that his TV show in the background was ridiculously distracting when I was trying to design a poster, but a recent study in Austria showed that entertainment lacking in intellect or culture can really stimulate similar non-intellectual, uncultured behavior. Long story short, turn off the trashy reality series long before sitting down to get some quality, creative work done.
- …criticize your work. At least, not now. Allow yourself to let your ideas flow uncensored without second-guessing yourself. Nitpick later when you are in the finalizing stages of your projects. This is where giving yourself time really helps.
Now, I’m doing marketing at a film production company for their upcoming documentary. The team is small and everyone wears many hats, which is an ideal situation to be in when you want to experience as much as possible! I’m also freelancing in various media platforms, and every day I’m learning something new about how to stand out from the crowd in this fast-paced industry. I’m excited to share what I learn through The Media Chronicles!