* This post's headline is a quote by Seth Godin, successful entrepreneur and book author. When I first read it, my initial thought was: "WHAT? I'm a Graphic Designer, of course what I do is being creative."
But I realised what he meant when I read the second part of that quote: "What you do for a living is to ship."
He is right. No client wants you to come back to him with just über-creative ideas. He wants you to come back with a product, that works for him and his business in his market. And he wants you to deliver on time. Within budget. If on top the concept is unique, eyecatching and headturning, the better.
To achieve this, being on time, within budget and creative, you will need experience. Experience in what's possible and what not. What to trash and what to keep – you need to know when to stop adding elements to the design. Who to work with – think: copywriters, printers, photographers. You need to know how to speak their language.
You need discipline and you also need to ask it from others who you work with.
You are flying the plane or sailing the ship. It comes down to you when a job gets wrong (sounds scary, I know). But it gives you a satisfactory feeling when everything works out perfect.