#1 We hate to think we’re stereotypical (the stereotype being temperamental, flouncy, feisty, obstinate, overly sensitive and quick to take offence, amongst other undesirables) but we are… a little. When things are going well – a style, an idea, a piece of writing, a big project that’s finally coming together – we’re over the moon and buzzy, buzzy, buzzy. Most other times, we’re a bit stressed and distracted, quite frankly.
#2 We’re not necessarily any more creative than anyone else. (Sssshhh, don’t tell.) It’s just that we exercise our creative muscles day-in day-out for a living, many of us for more years than it would be flattering to reveal, therefore we’re more nimble at having ideas and separating the wheat (has merit) from the chaff (just plain rubbish).
#3 We get away with wearing jeans, tees and trainers… well, for life, basically. On-duty, off-duty, you’d be hard pushed to tell with us because we’re pretty much dressed the same at all times.
#4 We keep thinking we’re younger than we are. It’s the jeans and tees.
#5 We come in all shapes and sizes. Some like to work in collaboration with others. Others prefer solitary confinement in order to think clearly. But almost all of us, no matter our discipline, now spend a huge part of our waking life staring at a computer screen, which is a bit scary when you come to think about it.
#6 We also come from all different disciplines. Some of us work in the so-called creative industries: advertising, design, marketing, photography, architecture, interior design. But so many more work in sectors such as construction, engineering, healthcare, teaching, the armed forces, retail and fitness. All of which require exceptional creativity and ingenuity in their own way.
#7 Our work makes up a huge part of our self-worth. Of course we have families and partners and real lives that are ultimately far more important, but tear into our work and you effectively tear our self-worth to shreds. (Please note: anything remotely resembling constructive criticism can, on a bad day, be considered ‘tearing into’… tread carefully.)
#8 Our jobs are harder than you might think. It’s not all ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘thinking outside the box’, whatever they’re supposed to mean. Nor is it playing pool all day or shooting hoops like those two dudes in US drama ‘Thirtysomething’ (for those of a certain age). It’s hard graft and it’s deadlines and it’s pressure to come up with the goods on time, every time. It’s our livelihood. (And you wonder why we get stressed.)
#9 We are our own biggest critics. Our boss may think our work is good enough. Our client may think our work is good enough. Budget may dictate that it has to be good enough, with no more paid-for hours left in the pot. We, however, will be the ultimate judge.
#10 We still have to pinch ourselves from time to time that we get paid for turning up every day to do something that we get a real kick out of doing.
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