Second Guessing: How to Stay in Love With Your Creative Ideas

Sometimes, you shouldn't turn away

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about marriage was: "Don't fall out of love at the same time."

Back then, I wasn't even in love, let alone out of it, and it sounded somewhat grim, to be honest. But it was one of those things that really stuck with me.

Fast forward a few years… I'm at work, and my (work) partner and I are looking at an idea we've had kicking around for a while. "Is it still good?" we ask ourselves. I mean, the first day we saw it—holy SHIT—we loved it. LOVED IT! This idea was going to take our careers, and everyone who worked on it, to the next level. We would be going to Cannes for sure. But now? I dunno. Does it have the same impact? Is it world class? To be honest, I was starting to fall out of love with the idea.

We once had a senior leader who would get bored of ideas if they sat around too long—no matter how good they were. And my partner Kelsey always reminds me that we cannot be that type of CCO. That we have to remember how we felt about the idea when we first saw it. So, while I was going cold on the idea, it was key that he was still warm. And it made me wonder, how many times has time—a deadline being pushed out, or having to hold off on a launch—killed the love we had for something great?

Even though months had passed, and our initial excitement had waned ever so slightly, our gut said go. And it was the right call—the idea was great. But like after the 197th time you listen to your favorite song vs the first time you heard it? Of course it's going to hit a little different.

So, what's the lesson? Don't turn away from a great idea when time makes us second guess ourselves, and make sure you have someone in your corner who's also not willing to give up so easily. Because the idea is just the beginning. Sticking with it, getting it made, and making it outstanding is the real hard part.

And sure, you can make an award-winning idea in three days, or with a single tweet, but sometimes they take a really long time. So for everyone working in this fast-moving-ever-changing-creative-chasing business, remember why you fell in love with an idea in the first place. And don't fall out of love at the same time.

Alexis Bronstorph
Alexis Bronstorph is co-chief creative officer at No Fixed Address.

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