We’ve all been there. The dark room. Intense. Shallow breathing followed by a gulp of breath. For the first timer, the virgin, it’s daunting. There’s new terrain to explore and new opportunities laid bare. There’s also risk.

The tension builds. There’s nervousness, trepidation and excitement. Even the more experienced person can falter right about now. After all, you just don’t know how this will play out …

And then, you’re committed. You swallow. You bark out a few unintelligible words.

And it’s over. You’re spent.

Welcome to the messy world of the creative process.

There was a time when I thought coming up with an idea was the hard part. I thought they were the hard work of the creative process. And I saw the fabled “big idea” as the money shot. The one that counts. The moment that the game changes and the clients/bosses fall over themselves.

But I don’t see this anymore.

We now live in a time of abundance. Where once there was the luxury of time, we now only have urgency. And this urgency now acts as a meta-filter for all our experiences. We all ask the same questions. When can I have it? How quickly? How big?

Perhaps it was ever so. Maybe I am viewing creativity through the rose coloured tints of nostalgia.

But one thing is clear. Ideas come and go. They are spurted out left right and centre by anyone with a keyboard and a Twitter account. These orphans are left gasping for life at the edge of the information torrents that pause for no ego. After all, today’s Britney meltdown is tomorrow’s Charlie Sheen triumph.

The challenge for the marketer is not in identifying the next big idea. Our challenge is to commit to something we can BELIEVE in. That’s right, we need to find a concept, a grain of truth … something that we can trust-in and drive. We have to put ourselves on the line for these ideas – not the other way around.

The time for ejaculating ideas is over. It’s time for the Social Way.