“A surplus of ideas is as dangerous as a drought.” ~ Scott Belsky from Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
Do you start many conversations like this? “I’ve got this great idea…” Well, many of us begin sentences with that sentiment. Myself included, and I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with what I believe to be the best idea I have ever had. Sleepily, I search for my laptop so the idea doesn’t get lost in the wake/sleep zone. Many people keep a journal next to their bed for such events, but not me. I have folders and folders on my laptop with ideas. There are files about kids, the perfect school, my eco-dream house, my knitting projects, design, photography, the Gulf, the world, travels, and…this blog. Actually, I have four posts started on my desktop right this very moment…
When a GOOD article by Scott Belsky called, How to Overcome Idea-to-Idea Syndrome landed in my Inbox, it caught my attention. As I started reading, I felt like I had just tip-toed into one of those medical sites to find out about some benign rash, and might leave thinking I have only three months to live. There it was, staring at me from across the screen: YOU HAVE IDEA-TO-IDEA SYNDROME.
Ok, take a deep breath. A syndrome is only a label. Labels can’t hurt…Let’s take a closer look at what Scott is talking about (and I am sure I have):
“Idea-to-idea syndrome is the tendency to launch new ideas while still executing other ideas (yes). As soon as an idea becomes an active project, we become burdened by the minutia of execution (yes). Long days and late nights cause us to get lost in what I have come to call the “project plateau”—the part of a project when excitement and energy run low and the end is still out of sight (yes). The quickest escape from the project plateau is simple. Conceive a new idea (yes, yes). Immediately, when you get excited about something new and shiny, your hopes lift as your creative juices kick in (yes, yes, yes). But, as a result, your previous idea is left stranded in the project plateau amidst other carcasses of abandoned ideas (Oh no!).”
Do you have “Carcasses of abandoned ideas”? I checked my computer files and they are filled with decay. Lots and lots of abandoned ideas. What do you do with them? Scott calls says, “Productive idealists recognize the value of building an immune system and resisting the seduction of creative flings that seldom last.”
Should we heed Scott’s advice and start to think like a “productive idealist”? Is resisting the temptation to collect too many ideas really a bad thing? Do your creative ideas floweth over? How do you bring your creative ideas to fruition?
Hear what Scott has to say about Making Ideas Happen: