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My first copywriting boss used to usher our team of writers into his office every month or so and demand that we spit out golden idea after golden idea. The session was essentially worthless. We barely had time to digest the brief let alone come up with something unique.

Most sessions ended prematurely, usually after he exclaimed, “I thought you were supposed to be creative?”

The cycle was nothing more than a power trip and the campaigns suffered.

After each session I would continue on with my work and the ideas would begin to flow. I never felt the urge to share them but they did come.

The point is… creating on demand is difficult enough without the added pressure.

Most of our best ideas come on their own. They arrive uninvited when we make time to simply consume without feeling the pressure to create… over a cigarette, a well-crafted film, a good book, a thoughtful conversation about something entirely unrelated.

They come when we remove the external pressures. For me that meant getting what I needed from the company and moving on. This might also mean reworking your client’s expectations of your time, avoiding email until lunch or burning the midnight oil.

This said, every so often, external pressures aside, you will still hit the wall. Why? Because just as creativity sometimes requires stimulation, other times it requires submission. Quit for a bit. Consume something brainless and forget.

It will come. Or, better yet, something else will come.