Leave Your Creative Rut

Don’t use the same method for coming up with ideas over and over and over again. Even a good rut is still a rut.

In the habit of approaching problems visually? Try writing headlines instead. Even if the idea doesn’t require them.

Like to work directly with your partner? Try spending an hour or two on your own before coming back together to share ideas.

Do you normally write your ideas on a laptop or a notebook? Try using a stack of index cards and a Sharpie.

There are a bunch of ways you can approach a problem. And you should use all of them. Even if it means sitting in a different chair than you’re used to.

When you find a method that works really well, you should use it as a tool, not a crutch. Don’t let yourself think, “This is the way to come up with ads,” because it won’t be.

2 thoughts on “Leave Your Creative Rut

  1. Yeah, I have this problem. I started going to a random word generator. And just clicking till I found a word that sparked something. Well, It worked the first time and since then, it just makes me come up with weird shit that doesn’t make any sense and is off brand. I guess it would work if I worked on the skittles brief. I like this blog by the way.

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  2. Thanks for the kind words, Nate. Glad you enjoy the blog.Sometimes when I’m stuck I start writing down words that aren’t exactly random. I try tying them into the product. Recently, I was working on bulldozers. Some of the words I wrote were typical: dirt, road, worker, hard hat. But the more I wrote, the wider they became. “Earth” made me think that only 30% of the world is land. That was an interesting direction. “Work” made me think of play, and how bulldozers are like of like playing with trucks when you’re a kid. Another interesting direction.But yeah, if you worked on Skittles, you could probably just start throwing words together. I think that’s how the B-52’s come up with their lyrics, by the way.

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