Whether its in magazines, books, the grey haired guys around the office, proprietary flash cards or any on of a million other places there is no shortage of tips on how to be creative. While often there are lots of good little thoughts and reminders it never fail me that at the end of the day being creative really just comes down to two things:
2. Hard work
Now, different people will have different levels of each. Sometimes there are uber talented folks who don't have to work hard. Other times there are folks who make up for a lack of talent with hard work. (Granted, you could argue that having a hard working nature is a talent unto itself, but let's ignore that for today.)
Too often, being creative is inhibited by not being able to do enough hard work. I'm sure it's happened to every creative, they get so overloaded with projects it becomes a just get it done survival, rather than lets spend the time it takes to make this great. It always makes me sad when talent can realize it's full potential because of poor "traffic" around their time, but its inevitable in the ebbs and flows of agency life.
Now, lets not confuse hard work with high volumes of time spent working. Granted, few truly excel in a 9 to 5 life of advertising, but working focused and smarter in intense bursts is a version of working harder.
I guess if there is any way to sum it up - Know your talent, work hard at it.
Or just watch videos like this (which is actually well done) or buy self help books: