Throwing Away the Map

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Waking up to the cool, crisp morning air, Greg is ready to go for a hike.  Even before making breakfast, before the sacred morning coffee, Greg is ready for an adventure.

As he peeks over the green horizon, he remembers the trail map that the National Park guide gave him when he entered the park.  Rummaging through his backpack, he finds the map, and then suddenly tears it in two.

“I don’t want anyone else’s directions this morning,” he thinks to himself.

Without a moment’s hesitation, he ties on his trail shoes and takes off on a slow jog up the trail.  His only guide is the road.  His only intention is to discover something.

As he feels the air in his lungs, and looks across the vastness of the scene, it seems the blueness of the sky cools his very mind.  What he will find — only the trail knows.

The creative process can’t be reduced to a road map.  There are no short-cuts, or easy ways to get there.

Much like Greg’s decision to “just go,” a great deal of the creative tangles and problems that we face for our clients requires us to take risks, and learn as we go. We believe this is both a science and an art.

This part of the creative process *does* require immediacy, though. Oftentimes, clients come to us with a problem that needs solving…yesterday. Lead time is a luxury that we aren’t always given. And that’s ok with us. (Here’s just one example of many…from back in our event producing days!)

Fortunately, at Radar we know better than anyone how to meet a deadline and how to finish well (and under budget!) – by just grabbing our trail shoes and GOING. The creative discoveries we make along the way are part of the collaborative process that we enjoy with our clients.

We’ll talk more about that collaboration in our next post.


The Camping Creative is the sixth of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[Creative commons image by Douglas Scortegagna]