I walked into the office last Friday morning with big plans. I had new ad creative due by the end of the day and cleared my schedule to devote myself to this one particular project. And I was ready. I went for a run before work, had my coffee and was perfectly prepped to spill my creativity into a print campaign for the next eight hours. Well, as to be expected when you put all your eggs into one basket (or in my case, one day), I got into the office and learned that our servers were down. So there I was: No art files to start from, no way to access the internet for research, no websites for inspiration, nothing.
My initial reaction was panic. What was I going to do? I had an entirely new ad concept due by the end of the day and nothing to use as a resource. Until after about 5 minutes, I stopped and realized that I did in fact have the one resource that is the most valuable: my brain. So I sat down with a pen and a piece of paper and started brainstorming. I did mind-maps, sketched comps and let my mind focus on this one specific project without the distractions of email, internet, social media, etc. And the result?
Well, once the internet and server were back up and running, my ad campaign was complete within a few hours. And our client loved it.
When I looked back, I realized that our Friday morning Server-geddon was the best thing that could have happened to me. We are all so inundated with information through the internet and social media, that we forget where our most powerful resource is.
From now on, I will always start with pen and paper - even if it feels like a waste of time. Because it reminds me that my best thinking can’t be found on a website or in the depths of twitter-land, it’s found within myself.