There’s no gross factor here, promise. I’m just wondering how come I get my best ideas in the bathroom – or when I’m sick. I know Ernest Hemingway writes best when intoxicated. I wonder if many other writers (both literary and advertising alike) also get their best ideas and do their best writing under extraordinary circumstances.

Once, while working on a brochure, I went to the bathroom and wham! An idea to make it more special and meaningful hit me. I went out immediately to share it with the Art Director. She ended up laughing at how I thought of the idea…and the brochure ended up winning a Gold Quill Merit Award. Not really sure if it was because of that idea, but still…

It happened again recently. I went to the bathroom at work and another solution popped into my head. At home, a lot of other ideas (not necessarily connected to writing) also crop up whenever I’m in the bathroom. Maybe it’s the isolation or the nothing-else-to-think-about atmosphere, but bathrooms can be great brainstorming places. If I ever build my own ad agency someday, maybe I’ll put a bathroom inside the conference room, haha! Or at the very least I’ll put a pen and pad paper on the bathroom so people can write their ideas so they won’t have to rush out to tell someone before they forget. This scenario could get ugly. Use your imagination.

Some of my best works (in my humble opinion) have also been written during times when I felt like the room was spinning. When we were bidding on a big project, I unfortunately became ill, with my blood pressure going as low as 90/60 or even lower. I had to stay horizontal, but had to go back to work after two days since we had that bidding deadline and I was nowhere near being finished. Well, the show, er, the writing must go on. I wrote everything barely able to see straight. Guess what, we got the project, and it became a finalist at the CMMA (Catholic Mass Media Awards)!

When we were bidding for another, even better project, I stayed overnight at the office to keep the Art Directors company. Team spirit, you know. I thought I would be done with my part by midnight. Not so. At around 2am, when we could barely keep our eyes open, we went out to buy some snacks and watch the eclipse. When we went back to the office, my head was spinning from lack of sleep, but then the words kept flowing. Again, we got the project and it won another Gold Quill Award.

Of course I’m not taking full credit. It’s the combination of great artwork and good copy, whose initial ideas came out of unusual places and circumstances.

When it comes to copywriting – and probably any other form of writing for that matter – sometimes it’s better to not take it too seriously to the point that you’re over-focusing. When stumped, get out of it for a while and go do mundane stuff. Goof off a little with the rest of the team. But always, always respect deadlines and even if everything else is going bonkers, keep writing short of literally being unable to use your hand to write. Then again, you could always dictate. 😉

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