“I get quite artistic when tired,” emailed one of my clients the other day. And I believed him.

He’s lucky. When I’m tired, all I’m fit for is watching low-budget telly, reading thrillers or writing short blog posts like this one.

But he also got me thinking. What stimulates my fellow copywriters when they need to get creative?

For my part, these are the things that really get the creative juices flowing.

1) Blind terror

Nothing puts me on top of my game faster than a looming deadline.

To get the best results, leave yourself two days in which to do the work of five. Icy coolness will settle on you like a mantle and you’ll produce the work of your life.

2) Strong drink

As much as I admire David Ogilvy, there’s only one area in which I’m his true equal. It’s this:

Many people – and I think I am one of them – are more productive when they’ve had a little to drink. I find if I drink two or three brandies, I’m far better able to write.

The only problem with this approach is that the clock starts ticking. I find you get about thirty minutes of good work – after then you’ll instinctively reach for your fourth brandy and become interested only in your fifth.

(By the way, if you rely on this approach, Ogilvy also had some tips for drying out copywriters – but they boiled down to getting help or getting lost).

3) Friendship

Ask me as a friend to write something and I somehow get inspired – in this game, writing for someone you know well really gives you the edge.

4) Not writing

The biggest inspiration of all.

The most creative stuff I ever do is almost finished before I get to writing it down. Reading, listening, looking, thinking, walking, laughing, crashing ideas into each other – they’re the things that help you as a copywriter.

That’s what I find… as long as I’m not tired. Like now.

But what gets you fired up when it comes to writing?

Are you like me, or like my self-styled ‘anti-me’, copywriter Andy Nattan (who will no doubt tell you that serenity, sobriety, enmity and writing are his principle creative influences)?

Let me know – leave me a message for when I’m fully awake.