By Jacqueline Hedge
I think I’m developing a fear.
I’ve repeatedly heard many a great creative say that craft is declining in advertising and looking at all the work that I’ve produced, it looks like I’m following a trend.
The thing is, it’s not that I feel incapable. It’s more that the better line will come and hit me in the back of the head a day, sometimes even a couple of hours after deadline. It’s infuriating.
I may be able to get away with it now. I can go back and change it to put in my book. But what happens when I’m employed?
What if an idea doesn’t get through because I don’t have time to let the adrenaline subside and the fog clear enough for me to find the right combination of words?
One of the reasons why I turned away from journalism as a career was that I didn’t want to put my name on something that would be in the public eye and not up to scratch. I hated the ‘Me First’ culture – offices full of mice sprinting away on their wheels to get a story out; spelling mistakes, repeated information and bad structure galore. Rooms full of writers talented enough to write for national newspapers, but given 10 minutes to hit word count with all details in check. The internet has truly done terrible things to the art of journalism.
And yet, here I find myself in a situation that will allow me to do better, still twitching with disappointment.
Maybe it’s practice, but I still feel like I’m yet to sit down and truly pour my heart into the paper. My head’s too busy thinking about media channels and angsting over the strength of the idea.
My partner and I recently had our work critted by an ECD who visited the studio. One of the main things that he picked apart could have been avoided had I sat down with it and properly put my heart into crafting the story. Needless to say I was kicking myself.
Whilst sat in the back of the room eavesdropping on Alexandra Taylor’s talk to the Art Directors, I heard her say that instinct is the best guide for your work; good taste brought you to where you are, let it guide you.
Well, if my taste brought me to where I am now, it’s doing a bloody good job of using the opportunity to kick me. I’m only hoping it’s in the right direction.