Wow, how long as it been since I did a Weekly Sip post? Way too long, that’s what. More specifically, my last Weekly Sip was posted back in September. So, it’s time for the first Weekly Sip of 2018.
I started the Weekly Sip series last January as a way to dive deeper into my own story and how my experiences have shaped my path. 2017 was a huge year of growth for me and I know 2018 will be, too. Where else would I share my journey in 2018 but on this blog, in this series?
For my first Weekly Sip of 2018, I visited The Daily Ration, over on Dartmouth Street in North Chattanooga. Daily Ration is a locally-owned restaurant, just over a year and a half old, that specializes in breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. I also hear their brunch is pretty solid, so I’m going to have to check that out eventually. It’s the sister restaurant to Bitter Alibi, which is one of the most popular restaurants in the entire state of Tennessee (so says Buzzfeed).
I stopped into Daily Ration for coffee and a biscuit before work the other morning. You don’t always need a fancy breakfast, so I opted for a latte and a biscuit.
The latte was well balanced with espresso and milk and was a great boost before heading into work. I know a good biscuit when I have one—Southern girl and all—and this one was fluffy and moist. No need for butter! It almost didn’t need any jam, but next time maybe I’ll try it with a drizzle of honey.
I glanced over the brunch menu while enjoying my latte and biscuit and I’m definitely going to add Daily Ration to my brunch rotation. I love a good biscuits and gravy plate, and the chicken and grits bowl sounds interesting enough that I’d more than likely try it.
Also, can we appreciate that exquisite latte art for a minute?
I played tennis back in high school. My junior year, I played varsity doubles with a girl a year younger than me; we weren’t the best of friends (but we didn’t dislike each other, either), but we were a great pair on the court. She grew up playing tournaments and was therefore ultra competitive. I’ve known very few people who hated losing as much as she did.
In one match early in the season, my partner and I fell behind early in the first set. None of our serves seemed to fall in and we were missing shots we shouldn’t have missed. When our opponents won the set, my partner screamed in frustration as we walked to the fence to speak with our coach. We were both frustrated and antsy; he told us to calm down and stop overthinking the match.
“Just play the point,” he said. “One point at a time. Then one game at a time. Then one set at a time. Then, boom—one match at a time.”
We came back and won the match in three sets, and finished the season undefeated.Slow down and just enjoy the process. #WeeklySip Click To Tweet
The weeks leading up to the holidays at work are always jam-packed. We’re trying to round out all of our projects from the year and get the balls rolling on projects coming up in the following year. This year’s pre-holiday craziness took on a whole new level with an ask from one of our clients. The stress was palpable, particularly among the creative team.
One day, in a meeting with one of my creative directors, we were talking about that particular project, how I felt about my progress, and how I thought I was handling the stress leading up to the holidays. I confessed that I was more stressed than I had been with similar situations in the past and I was getting frustrated with my own work, and felt like maybe I was just spinning my wheels.
After we talked about alleviating stress and frustration, she said to take a step back and just enjoy the creative process. It’s one idea at a time. One concept at a time. One review at a time. One script at a time. One final product at a time.
Sounds familiar, right?
If you’re curious, I also talked about this in a segment on my friend’s podcast a few weeks ago (timestamp 1:18:20-ish).
The process is where the nitty-gritty idea-building happens. That’s the fun part: brainstorming, throwing any and all ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, playing with one idea and just seeing where it takes you. What you may think is silly, your teammate may think is genius. Or your fleeting thought may inspire an idea from another teammate, and another, and another.The creative process is where the magic happens. Don't lose sight of that. Click To Tweet
I digress: the creative process isn’t always that lucky or pretty or magical. Nine times out of ten, it’s a frustrating mess. Don’t let it stop you. The stress and frustration, as annoying as they are, are part of the creative process. I like to think that if you’re frustrated, it means you’re thinking hard, from all angles, to produce a sound idea or concept. But there’s a fine line between exploring an idea from all angles and overthinking the task at hand.
Also worth noting: the creative process happens differently for everyone, for every project.
It’s easy to get assigned a project or task and think ahead to the end outcome: a viral blog post or video, a winning concept the clients love, victory in a tennis match. But as the old saying goes, let’s not put the cart before the horse. Sure, have your eye on the prize, but don’t forget what steps you have to take to get there. The magic is in the process. That’s where you learn the most about your work, your process, yourself.
What does your creative process look like? How do you handle stress and frustration in your creative process?