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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It Will Be Just Like Starting Over

I'm a huge advocate of saving idea snippets for later refinement. Doing this has saved me so much creative time over the years.

Sometimes, though, this strategy leads to a creative dead end.

I have a nearly 100 page Word file of blog article starters along with several sketchbooks loaded with ideas. These have been great resources, serving as a safety net when ideas or time are tight.

Yet, the ease with which I used to write the blog has evaporated over the past several months.

This is likely due to a whole variety of legitimate tugs on my time and mental energy. But instead of my idea trove helping me, the chore of sifting through it and thinking about what and how to edit the ideas has been more daunting than invigorating.

So I tried a new approach this weekend. I began with a brand new Word file, a few ideas written down this week, and pounded out 5 new articles Saturday evening, just like the early days. Freed from the creative baggage of feeling compelled to rescue ideas, words and ideas started flowing naturally again.

It comes back to a fundamental strategy: be willing to walk away from what has worked for you when it isn't working anymore. - Mike Brown


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2 comments:

Kai said...

So true, Mike. It can be tough leaving good ideas behind, but you're right that they might eventually feel like baggage. On the other hand, I've noticed that allowing interesting thoughts gently inspire me over time leads to possibilities I hadn't considered originally (as when multiple small threads come together to create a new whole).

Looking forward to hearing more...

Mike Brown said...

Kai - Thanks for the comment. There are definitely advantages in both approaches. Notice, I didn't say I deleted the blogging files & throw away the sketchbooks; just didn't use them this week.

In the past, I did a whole week on resuscitating ideas, so the inspiration may swing back to the fragments. Right now though, new creative sparks are working better than old ones!

Mike