Effort’s a funny old thing.
You can put a lot in and get sod-all out at the other end, and you can toss something out on the way back from the pub and hit a home run.
And that can fuck with your mind.
Should one work really hard? Will it produce better stuff?
Well, annoyingly enough, the answer to both those questions is ‘yes’.
Although you might produce the best executions in the first ten minutes, the tedious truth of the matter is that if you come up with 100 more executions, the standard of your best three cannot possibly get any worse. That means the only outcomes to greater effort are either stasis or improvement, and neither will do you any harm.
But, y’know, work can be a bit of an arse, especially when compared to sitting around playing GTA 4 while mainlining whisky sours.
So where do you draw the line?
That’s a much harder question to answer because it depends on many factors at the same time: how ambitious are you? Do you need to impress your CD? Is the client too cunty to appreciate/ buy what your extra toil produces? Do you stop at eight, nine or ten o’clock? Are the extra hours worth it or should you get some sleep and try again in the morning? Is that new ad better or is the desperation for some kind of improvement screwing with your perspective?
But I do think it gets easier as you get older, partly because you know how to spot which ideas are good, partly because you learn to recognise the dead ends before you go down them and partly because practice makes perfect, or at least better.
But if you want the real solution just find something you love doing, then it won’t feel like work. That means that you will end up doing tons of work and no work at all simultaneously.
Good luck finding that thing.