By Sophie Becker
I need to get it off my chest: this womb has birthed some hideous babies. Babies I wish had never seen the light of day. Babies whose heads I wish I’d brutally sliced off as they gasped their first breath.
While I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learnt from young Gertrude, Augustus and Hubert, I think I’d have birthed some less deformed offspring had I not held onto them so tightly.
From this moment on, I solemnly swear to murder as many of my babies as possible.
Especially the ones I love.
Amongst, oh I don’t know – EVERYTHING ELSE, this has definitely been one of the hardest lessons starting at SCA. A lesson I know has barely begun.
From the peanut butter rap battle dreamt up in Improv, to the glow in the dark nuclear power plant poster, it’s been tough for me to say good bye to ideas that seem great at the time of conception. But each reluctant beheading has allowed space for a new baby. And I now realise you’ve just got to keep those contractions at full throttle til the next Einstein comes hurtling out. Even if some duds appear along the way.
Learning to scamp has been a masterclass in murder. Today, I had no choice but to leave my newborns for dead as the focus on “quantity leads to quality” left little time for nurture. Painful as this was, I was encouraged when I reviewed my scamps. Not because I particularly liked the look of any of them. The opposite. Some of them were the ugliest damn babies this metaphorical womb has ever produced.
By abandoning them, it became clear which ones were strong enough to survive on their own – which ones were worth feeding.
If I hadn’t had the time constraints, or the goal of producing as many scamps as possible, I undoubtedly would have wasted a lot of time and energy raising a goddamn ugly baby. Or, to quote another nauseating metaphor – “Polishing a turd”. I wouldn’t have stepped away to see its flaws or consider fresh ideas.
I’ve always focused on quality over quantity when it comes to ‘creating’ – whether that’s art or essays. I’ve seen myself as a ‘slow but effective’ worker, but I’m now viewing the ‘effective’ as incidental (if existent at all). The slowness comes from filter – not ‘quality’ as I once thought. Just hindrance to the free flow of ideas.
Looking back, I know that had I dropped the parts that resonated strongly with me, but only me, I’d have had a lot more success. My ideas would have been much clearer and my message much stronger.
As with everything, I like to apply this lesson to the bigger picture. SCA might teach us creativity, but I can’t help feel I’m learning a little about ‘life’ along the way. In general, I have a tendency to hang on to ideas too tightly. Whether that be an idea about who I am, what I should do or even a stupid plan – it’s held me back. So many things seem like a good idea when you think them up. If you never let them go, you’ll never know what else could come along.
Just a small example: I used to be dead certain that I was destined to become a planner when I was working at my old agency. I was so rigidly set on this idea that I completely ignored anything I was good at or interested in. Whenever I did any “strategic” analysis, it would always centre on the creative idea instead. Eventually, I worked out I was better suited as a copywriter. But it took some time and pain. One thing I’m certain about: I’m at the right place now. But I’m not going to restrict myself to copywriting for now.
While I never want to kill that baby, I want to leave room for others to grow.
Cheeeeers SCA x