Staying Creative: Input vs. Output

A month ago I was at dinner in New York with Kara, my VP of Marketing. I was relaying how my recent attendance at NATPE to learn more about the state of broadcast, especially as it relates to advertising, had inspired me on many unexpected levels. It provided me with new insights and angles for work, resulted in new industry connections around common interests and it lit a fire to focus back on writing and examining the changing PR industry.

I shared with Kara something I heard my senior year of college while at the University of Oregon. I attended an awards ceremony for Allen Hall Advertising (the J-school’s student-run ad shop) and a former student and AHA member gave a short speech. Something he said was very wise and has stuck with me ever since.

“When you work in any creative industry where you are forced to constantly output it is crucial to have constant input.”

It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day but it’s important we remember to extract ourselves from the bubble once in awhile for fresh insights. I am always more motivated and full of ideas after attending talks, exhibits, conferences, interviews, co-working, etc. I’ve learned it’s optimal if I can keep the input equal with the output. When I don’t is when I start to feel like I’ve run out of steam.

I encouraged Kara to go to more events related to what she’s interested in. Take a day and get some input before the well runs dry (because it does happen and re-filling it is usually sleeping for a weekend and not an adequate replacement.)

Input is crucial. In whatever form it takes for you.

For me, my next major input dose starts later this week with SXSWi. I’ve never been and am beyond excited to go. I’ve already built out my calendar with a lot of attention paid to digital media, advertising, privacy and data.

There are so many people I’m looking forward to connecting with for the first time. I’ll be armed with Twitterberry, Zannel and a Flip so I just might corner you for a convo about PR, advertising, digital media, or the best place to get a drink in Austin.

Look forward to seeing, and meeting, you there. Now go get your input on!

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