Creativity can be learned, but only in part. So much of being a creative individual hinges on genetic makeup, internal states of being, and a person’s basic tendencies. Greg Reese is a copywriter who embraces his nature. His work, his decisions, and his approach to life seem to be driven by an overflow of ideas, and an innate fondness for creative output.
I will initially approach any project, and spin very wild – create tons of ideas, and then I’ll come back and start honing.
Years ago, Greg had an opportunity to move up—in his career and his geography—when he was offered the position of Creative Director at an advertising agency in Toronto. After giving his all in this new role, in a new land with his family in tow, Greg had a realization: he had become a manager. Instead of making things, he was merely making decisions. This wasn’t what he wanted, so he picked everything up and returned to what he loves: writing.
In some ways, being a manager gets you further from the creative process…you end up selling the work instead of doing it.
Back in West Michigan, Greg wanted to get back to the kind of work he loved. He found more time for his family by working from home, and focused on the type of work he wanted to do. In following his own internal tendencies, he was able to find a new level of happiness. His decision to move back, his insistence on family time, and even his creative process speak of someone who listens to their gut. Always ready to explore, Greg can find creative gold even in bad ideas.
For me, there’s a huge value in lesser or discarded ideas. They can lead to places you wouldn’t normally go.
There’s a lot we can learn from Greg. To summarize it in one word, it’s trust. A creative person needs to have the confidence and boldness to trust their own compass. Next time you approach a project or a fork in the road, don’t get stuck overanalyzing which way to go. Trust your gut.
As soon as I get a creative brief, I want to pounce. I’m pretty rash. I start turning over ideas almost as soon as I get it. I’m no good at waiting.
Greg is a freelance copywriter.
He lives in East Grand Rapids with his wife, Carolyn, and their four kids.