Would you say you have all the great creative ideas you need? Enough ideas that you can just grab one anytime you need and, fresh with inspiration, dive head first into creating another wonderful piece of art?
If so, you’ve obviously found a highly effective way of generating ideas. Stick with it, it’ll be one of the most powerful tools you have in realising your creative potential.
If you haven’t, and if coming up with ANY ideas seems a major struggle – let alone a steady flow of great ideas – then obviously this has a seriously limiting impact on your creativity.
Ideas are the raw materials – the moment of birth of each creative project – and without an idea as a starting point, there’s simply nothing to develop, nothing to shape and create from.
So why don’t you have enough ideas?
Well, the truth is you probably DO have all the ideas you’ll ever need. But you just don’t realise that you do!
Your creative mind is permanently on, making connections that weren’t there before, it’s impossible to switch it off. The problem is, most of the ideas it presents you with you dismiss as being silly or unrealistic or not usable, or – and this is one of the most common and most fatal mistakes – you reject your idea because it doesn’t appear completely realised, as a finished creative project in every possible detail, gift-wrapped with a big red bow on top!
It’s like starting a tennis academy to develop young players then rejecting everyone who applies because they haven’t yet won a Grand Slam tournament or they’re not ranked in the top 5 players in the world.
Then, even those ideas that DO manage to fall through the cracks and make it past your strict admission criteria, the ones where you think “Hey that idea’s got potential, I think I’ll use that later”, don’t get used. Why? Because moments after you have them, you forget them again! Then, days later you remember having a great idea but you haven’t a clue what it was!
So how can you have more good creative ideas?
There are two key elements we’ve talked about already. The first is being overly critical or having unrealistic expectations of your ideas to arrive perfectly formed. The second is forgetting your ideas before you have a chance to do anything with them.
The solution to both of these is simple. Get yourself an Ideas Book, just a small pocket notebook you can carry with you to jot down those ideas as soon as they appear.
Then, each time you have an idea, BEFORE you cast it aside as not worthy or complete enough, write or sketch it down in your Ideas Book. In a matter of days, your book will start to fill with fragments of ideas in many different stages of development.
Now, a quick reality check. You’ll never be able to develop each and every idea you ever have. And yes, some of the ideas you record with great excitement and anticipation will turn out to not really come to anything. That’s OK, it’s all part of the ideas process.
Once you have in place a way of capturing your ideas, and are prepared to let them incubate and evolve in their own time, you’ll find a steady flow of great ideas will be right at your fingertips, ready for you whenever you need them.