Some Good Advice, Hopefully – By @mcgloiiiiiin

Some Good Advice, Hopefully

I’m a great example of a person who gives good advice but doesn’t listen to their own.

I thought I would use this opportunity to write down some kernels of wisdom learnt from my time at the SCA so far, in order to make them more concrete within my own psyche and to encourage myself (and possibly my peers) to do better.

In no particular:

1) Get more sleep.

This course takes a lot out of you and it is only going to get more demanding, I don’t think I’ve ever worked this hard before and that includes some jobs that actually paid me to work. This is not a mechanical, mindless process, number punching role. You can’t be creative and join the dots without getting proper rest the night before. No amount of coffee in the morning will actually help, your mental faculties just wane, and the ideas from the slight manic high you received are realised to be naff when you come back down to earth. Your mind is the most important thing you have, treat it as a separate slimy entity. Also, do some meditation.

2) Don’t go with your first good idea.

It’s lazy, it’s cowardly, it’s not your best work. Keep at it, use the techniques, scamp away (the A4 paper is there for you to use anyway). Kill all the babies until you’re left with the right one. Iterate, iterate, iterate. And then iterate again.

3) Know when to put your foot down.

In a partnership, sometimes you need to fight for your idea, you need to argue its validity (especially if your partner rains down torrentially). We are in the business of selling. Sell your idea, persuade them to see its value, even if it’s a small detail in a big picture. And if that doesn’t work, maybe it wasn’t a good idea in the first place, or maybe just work alone.

4) Get it on the wall.

Get it out of your head, get it in big writing, get it on the wall. Look at it. Study it. Engulf it. Something good will come of it. You work visually, keeping things inside means you lose the essence of the idea; the words.

5) Get away from the screen.

Get into your own head, think mindfully about what your task is and focus. Then, go for a walk, have a shower, cook some food, whatever works. Your brain comes up with things when you give it a task to do outside of what you’re focusing on, so let it work whilst you’re working on something else. Laptops and phones are as much distraction machines as tools, work with pen and paper. 

6) Keep it simple

You don’t need all that writing, you don’t need that extra witty phrase or pun after the Headline, you don’t need to set the scene (the client already knows), don’t use jargon or pretentious words. Stop overcomplicating it for the sake of your ego, not every good detail you thought of needs to be added. Be brutal, filter out what works, communicate the idea with the minimal amount of fuss, it will be better for it.

6) Use the Mentors.

You’re paying for it, chase them and gobble down their infinite wisdom. Something good always comes from it. But also, go with your gut and dismiss them entirely. It is a fine line. 

7) Avoid Nancy.

Otherwise, you’ll get sucked into a black hole, composed of quicksand, with tornados circling it, talking about your favourite stationery for an hour. 

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