Monday, September 12, 2011

9/13/11—Executing Your Vision

Today's Draw: Initiation (Magician) from Tarot de Paris. Do you get a lot of great ideas? Do you have the motivation to bring them into reality? What stands between your big ideas and the recognition you so richly deserve?

The Tarot de Paris characterizes the Magician as creative initiation, the moment that creation is called into action. But this moment is just the beginning. Before results can be seen, action, motivation and work are needed. 

As someone who has spent their entire career as a "creative ideas" person, I know this moment well. For many of us, this is the most magical moment of our job. It's the moment an idea is born. While you would think it's the beginning of a creative story, for me, at least, it's the climax. Everything is denouement from there. 

While there are still some challenging and gratifying problems to solve during the execution phase, the concept phase is the part most of advertising creatives like best. It's the alchemical moment when marketing strategy is changed into creative strategy. It's the phase where you either prove your chops as a creative person or fail.

As I said before, execution is fine and can sometimes be very gratifying, but it's just not as fun. Frankly, it's more like work. We're not accustomed to complaining about it, because the entire process is our job. We don't really get one part without doing the other. Seniors in large agencies can make peons execute, but they still direct it and, depending on the peon, probably end up doing much of the work themselves anyway. This is more common for artists than writers, though. Regardless I'm kind of feeling that kind drudgery lately myself. However, execution is the only way to make it to the next set of gratifying moments...when you see your vision complete and then when it gets the results you wanted to achieve.

So, I came up with this amazing idea for a tarot product...haha. And I loved every minute of developing the product. Now I've got to write the book that accompanies it and that feels more like much harder to motivate myself for than the idea phase. In advertising, execution usually happens quite quickly because it takes maybe an hour or less to write an ad, for example. All the real time is spent in the idea phase. But a book...that takes a long time to execute. You can kind of equate it to a man who loves the pursuit of a woman, but feels less enamored—if not trapped—when the prize is won and it's time for a relationship. That's where I am now. 

I've actually written something significantly longer and more profitable before. It was a 750-page corporate website. No kidding. I still have the PTSD to prove it...haha. So I know I can manage the challenge. And, fortunately for professional creatives, we're very deadline oriented and, like a Pavlovian dog, we automatically move forward on that motivation alone. My deadline for this book is the end of the month. 

Initiation comes to remind us that the spark happens long before results appear. And what lies between is a choice...action or inaction. You can wait for magic to happen...for a channel to open and move your fingers for you on the keyboard. But what's likely to be more successful is to put your head down and just do the hard work of executing your vision. That's what I'll be doing today. What vision are you executing in your life today?

No comments:

Post a Comment