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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  I think I’m losing my touch as a writer

I think I’m losing my touch as a writer


Mine is a topic of creative regression. I have a three year experience as a copywriter. And I’m currently in my second agency. Initially I was touted as a very talented copywriter. With my first agency I did some really good stuff and moved on here as this is a better agency. I’ve been at this place for around one and a half years. But the results have left me doubting my skills. My work isn’t half as good as it was in the initial years. Which shouldn’t be the case. In fact there’s more old work than new stuff in my portfolio. With each project I’m involved in, I feel I’m losing it. my bosses aren’t happy, and I don’t blame them. After all they had seen potential when they first hired me. Please help.

intro I think Im losing my touch as a writerYou’re still the talented and capable writer you were a year and a half ago. Let’s get that straight right away. Here’s the thing. There are many variables at play in any agency that can add up to new heights of achievement, or as you put it, regression. Your work quality is impacted by (a partial list): your partner (the wrong fit can derail even the best creative person), your creative director (in so many ways—what projects do they give you? How much attention do they give you? How good is their guidance?), the agency culture (even a “great” agency can have big issues with promoting burnout or other negative fallout on the way to good work), or you may be on accounts that have big client problems, or even account services issues.

You should make your first step sitting down with your CD to ask him or her to help you analyze why your performance isn’t what either of you had hoped. That invitation to candid discussion should be productive. (Frankly the CD should have made that happen by now without your prompting but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it happen). You may learn all kinds of things and they’ll see you’re committed to improvement. It’s all good.

Next, go out and get Tom Monahan’s excellent book, The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy http://www.amazon.com/Do-Yourself-Lobotomy-Creative-Thinking/dp/0471417424/ ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-2856714-7854204? ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181561489&sr=8-1 It’s the best tool we know of to help you confront the blank page with enthusiasm, equipped with fantastic brainstorming techniques that are sure to get you to a much better place.

Depending on how things go with your CD, do think about looking for the next job. If you don’t see a lift in your work in the next few months, your problem may well be your environment.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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