Take the path everyone else takes, you get to where everyone else is going.
Follow the recipe and you’ll have a cake you can enjoy.
Sorta-kinda follow the recipe and you might wind up with a Cake Wreck we can ALL enjoy.
Decades ago, Eastman and I navigated the New Mexican backcountry with a map he found at a gift shop. The map was meant to hang on a wall, in a frame, and existed for style, not navigation. It cost $2 with our employee discount.
As long as you knew about where you were, the map could get you going in approximately the right direction.
“We’ll get there eventually,” he’d say. “Just gotta get more creative with the directions is all.”
Take the path everyone else takes, and you get to where everyone else is going.
You can pay out the nose for courses, guidebooks, and consultations to navigate the digital landscape. You can hire professionals that will tell you all the ways you can better sell your product. You can try to apply someone else’s experience to the problem you have in front of you.
Sometimes it works. Most of the time, though, it’s more fun to blaze your own trail.
You know: give everyone an experience they haven’t felt before.
Best practices are nice, but following your gut always works out the way it is supposed to.
We all need a little bit of direction, otherwise we’re flat out lost.
I don’t think it was an accident when I gave myself a new job title several weeks ago: Freelance Creative Director. It gave me a direction for the type of client I wanted to work with, the type of work I wanted to do, and the skills I wanted to share with everyone.
Most conversations I have - everyone has an idea of where they want to go, and they are looking for step by step directions to get there. Thing is: life doesn’t work that way. Follow this workout, get this body? Nope. Emulate Hemingway’s habits, write literature that will be taught for generations? I wish.
The thrill is in experimentation. Follow someone else’s playbook and maybe you’ll get their results. Follow your gut and get lost along the way? Now you have a story to tell!
This whole thing - since I was laid off three-ish years ago - has been going this way. The direction has felt right even though I’m not entirely sure what the destination is (if there is one at all?).
So I am putting out some Creative Directions.
Not a how-to, but a more-or-less guide to getting you to where you want to be.
Who is it for?
Those who are tasked with being creative on demand.
Those who need to put together fresh product all the time - playlists, posts on Instagram, products in a store
Those who know their business depends on getting the stars to line up perfectly
Anyone who has ever spent more time looking for a pen than writing the poem they just thought of.
Anyone with a bunch of ideas and aren’t sure where they go.
Anyone who looks at the landscape of feeds and ads and wonders how the hell do I stand out among this?
The end goal; to get you what you need to find the way - to give you Creative Directions on what path to take.
How do I get my direction?
Drop your name in the box below. I publish every day, M-F, directly to your inbox.