The Rentrée has been and gone with October hovering ready to land on Thursday.
It’s been a busy month in “back-to-school” mode after the long, sunny summer days when nearly every company and agency in Paris closed its doors for at least a couple of peaceful weeks.
It’s back to routines and daily life, to administrative hiccups and uncooperative clients.
I don’t want to sound negative here (promise), but what I do want to suggest that we can sometimes slip into a work rut where everything is cosy and familiar, but that extra special sparkle is no where to be found.
This is way this September I decided to create a plan of action for hunting out fresh inspiration. So, maybe “plan of action” is a rather grand term, but I did come up with a couple of ideas to shake things up a little.
1.) A steep learning curve
What better way to come up with new ideas than by learning new things?
A new angle
With this in mind, I signed up to a range of different courses that I’d been meaning to do for absolutely ages. First on the list, a photography courses to learn how to use the digital camera I’d been given 18 months earlier and get me into a creative “non-automatic” mode.
In the deep end
I then did a week of Arabic classes in order push myself in the right linguistic direction. I’d been dabbling for a while, but still hadn’t quite got my head around all those throaty sounds and squiggly symbols. I won’t deny it, for me this is a big challenge. Although I’ve already learnt French and Spanish, this is a whole new league and I was right in at the deep end. Although one week was just a tiny drop in the ocean, it got me motivated keep going through thick and thin, through moments of comprehension and sudden enlightenment.
2.) New horizons
Armed with my newfound knowledge, the next step was to expand my professional horizons. First things first, I decided to reinforce my existing network by keeping in touch with the other copywriters I know in Paris and reaching out to ones I don’t.
Following a training course in prospecting for new clients given by my AGA, I also set about spring cleaning and updating my all-important excel file. This got me asking important questions, like, what kind of projects do I really want to work on? And, I started working out how to weave my Spanish skills into my portfolio of services. If anyone wants Spanish-English adaptations, you know where I am!
3.) A change of scene
Finally, I realised more than ever the overwhelming importance of where we work. After a couple of days stuck behind the computer in my flat with limited contact with the outside world, I start to feel listless and even tired. Last September, I took action by joining a co-working space, a decision I don’t regret for one minute. So, I decided to take this a step further and attend more events, go to different meet-ups, try new spaces and test out La Mutinerie Village (co-working in the countryside) for a couple of brisk days of fresh air.
It’s been an intense couple of weeks in which I’ve learnt a lot and felt out of my depth on numerous occasions. Overall, I feel more optimistic, more creative and more motivated to test new experiences. Hopefully, this positive attitude will last… I’ll keep you posted!
If you have any ideas for finding inspiration, I’d love to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to get in touch.