By Poppy Cumming-Spain
A book in a week
This morning John got a semi-bollocking from Marc. A few times this year, mentors have questioned John’s hunger. We need to be making more stuff and getting famous. In all fairness, not everyone in this room wants to be famous, and I don’t think they should be judged for that. But those who do need to be doing more; I can get on board with that.
I think part of the problem with this year if you see it as a problem, is that people don’t show off. There are lots of people making great work, doing interesting projects, taking steps in their careers and as people, but they’re not talking about it. I think John as a year might be too humble. I might be wrong.
In any case, we should continue to churn out work even if it feels hard. My partner, Meg, and I have felt a little stagnant lately. We’ve spent too much time trying to push old campaigns and not enough time making new ones. We were set on making these campaigns the best they could be, which left us little time to make anything that felt fresh. So, we’ve been staring at the same campaigns for ages. Bored and, in some ways, uninspired. But it’s hard to let go. To be clear, we’re not afraid of killing our babies. We’ve killed a lot of babies this year. But, when you go to crit after crit where they’re telling you there’s something in a campaign, it’s hard not to want to get it to the place it deserves to be. ‘There’s something in it’ is something we’ve heard and said so many times recently.
Going over these campaigns hasn’t done much for our creativity. I think it made both of us doubt our abilities. If you’re not generating new ideas all the time, you don’t feel like you can. This week we put a stop to that. We’ve been coming up with new ideas every day. Some of them are small and stupid, some of them are big and (hopefully) great. And it’s felt a lot better. We’re excited again. On Tuesday, we were challenged to create a whole new book in a week when we were at a book crit. We jumped at the chance. We’ve got no idea what we’ll be able to produce in that time, but we’re looking forward to finding out. When Marc set us the task of coming up with six new campaigns over the Easter holidays, we had a few hurdles to get through. Personal issues meant we couldn’t spend the time on the work that we wanted and, to be fair, we were pretty proud of what we came up within the time we had. So, this is a kind of take two to see what we can do.
We’re about halfway through the week now and have six campaigns in sight. Next Tuesday we’ll see what we managed to churn out in seven days. I hope that it spurs us on to do the same every week until we finish SCA; and hopefully beyond.