The search for gold

Is it possible for  every problem to have a brilliant solution?

I ask that question as someone who, either as a copywriter, CD or author, is presented with a regular supply of challenges, the answers to which are plucked from a bucket that’s basically infinite.

So if you are given a brief for 25% off carrots, in theory you might be able to come up with an ad that is so unbelievably witty, so life-alteringly persuasive, so game-changingly original that it makes every single person who reads it stop in their tracks and run as fast as they can to the nearest Aldi. 

In theory.

And it’s the same with every word or sentence you add to a novel: the possibility that you might surpass the greatness of Ulysses or Great Expectations is always on offer.

In theory.

Of course, we deal with limitations of talent and time, which makes the odds of the above happening very small. But the perpetual possibility is an interesting thing to deal with. If we go one more hour, one more day, one more week we might find the pot of gold.

Or not…

The work that’s on the table isn’t going to get worse, but will the search be worth it? And will the people involved in that search recognise the gold when they find it?

I think the impossibility of answering those questions is what keeps these tasks endlessly fascinating and endlessly frustrating: the gold might be out there, and the only way you can ever know is if you have a good hard look. Which might end in massive disappointment.