Handle Your Feelings

There will be rough creative days.

Your ideas will get shot down. The budget will be cut (after you've put in 233 hours of work) and now the project will never see the light of day. The client will say their ten-year old could do a better job than what you just presented. You will get taken off a project you were really excited about. Your partner/coworker will spazz on you. Your computer will quit life and you'll lose everything you've been working on.

There'll be days when you want to storm out of the office before you set it on fire, or worse, lock yourself in a bathroom stall and cry. (I know I've written before about this and said There's No Crying In Advertising but if you absolutely have to, go to another floor. And if someone hears you, pick any line from this song as your reply.) 

Here are a few things I do to help me get through a rough day. 

1. Tell Today to stop it. Sometimes I speak directly to Today or write it a little note, "Dear Today, you won't win this time. So just quit it." I also remind myself that tomorrow is a new day. And who doesn't like new things?

2. Think about what you've learned from the experience. I try to figure out why XYZ happened and what I can do to avoid it in the future, and if it that's not possible, then I find new ways to respond/recover. There's always something you can learn. Always. 

3. Talk to a friend. Off the clock and outside of the office. Sometimes I just need to vent and rant and get it all out of my system. And sometimes in the middle of the vent-rant I realise it's not such a big deal and maybe I should calm the hell down. 

4. Do something to cheer yourself up. Beware of turning to drugs or alcohol or some other self-destructive faux-solution. Instead, I look for something positive that is fulfilling and gets my mind out of that negative space - like dancing, volunteering, peanut butter ice cream. 

5. Let it go. Seriously, don't bring it into tomorrow and definitely don't let it flow over into your other projects. Don't be a Negative Nelly or the lead writer at IHateEverything.com. (This isn't a real site.) I always remind myself that I'm not saving lives.

6. Look for other ways to be awesome. I try to find a way to counter that loss with a win. Maybe it's in another project or in a whole other way outside of writing copy, but I look for any opportunity to get my mojo back.