At the start of every project, almost without fail, I look at a blank screen and wonder just how the f*#k I’m going to come up with something decent. Does everyone concerned with creating something feel the same way?
Back in the good ol’ days of full time yet tedious and incredibly stressful work, I used to relish doing the monthly report because it didn’t require creativity. You ran a few reports on the computer, you added up visitors/circulation/amount of money spent on internet (divided by 4 to get number of hours total), you put calculations into a spreadsheet and set up the chart to work automatically … and voila! The monthly report.
Methodical. Formulaic. Safe. Fantastic for control freaks.
Nowadays, I don’t know if I’m going to be busy next week or be twiddling my thumbs (actually, I still have heaps of assignments to get done so technically I should NEVER be twiddling my thumbs but procrastination seems to be my middle name). I don’t know what type of job will be coming in or even if I’ll be able to handle it! Of course, in my more gentle, less critical moments, I realise that I always find a way to get it done. It may take longer than I thought (and I never charge the client for my own ignorance!) but I always deliver in the end.
It’s just the process that is a struggle. I’m always super-sensitive to infringing copyright and would never blatantly copy someones work and pass it off as my own, but when I get stuck I go web surfing. I guess back before the internet, people massaged their creative juices by looking at the world around them. I bet the first caveman didn’t worry too much about intellectual property when he fingerpainted that deer onto the wall of his cave.
Perhaps you can already tell I am procrastinating over a job. It should be simple yet because it’s slightly left of what I usually do, I’m struggling with it. So much so that whilst I thought I had solved the problem and come up with something creative that the client would like, my brain woke me up at 2am with a loud and clear message that by changing it to a jpg file (as they’ve requested), the background that I don’t want filled in will, in fact, be filled in and it will look all boxy and now I have to come at it from a different angle.
I think it’s time to do a little surfing …