Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to Successfully Harness Your Ideas

Untitled artwork, using freeform idea

Whether you’re a writer, poet, artist or other creative type, sooner or later there will be times you just can’t think of anything creative. The mind goes blank and the block sets in. We’ve all been there, staring at the blank sheet of paper or the white canvas.

But sometimes it is not the lack of ideas that is the problem…it’s having too many. While this may not seem like much of a problem all things considered, as the whole occupation of writing or art hinges on ideas and creativeness. Being inundated by too many ideas can be just as bad as staring at that blank sheet, because all that lack of focus could work to create procrastination and probably even a lot of anxiety if you can’t make your deadlines.

I tend to suffer from this malady myself. I have stacks and stacks of notes about some great idea or a new piece of jewelry to make or piece of artwork. While it’s wonderful to have that creativeness part of me; the part of me that requires that I actually sit down and DO it, is much harder to harness and rein in. But luckily over the years I have learned to manage my time and my energies better. I have also learned some patience with myself, especially when it comes to creating art. I have found that if I don’t push it, most of the time it will all come together in the end. If it doesn’t, then I just move on.

So I have put together a few tips that have helped me, I hope you writers and poets and artists find them helpful.

  1. Find something that stands out about your idea. Is it bold, bright, or new? These are the types of ideas that will stand out, inspire or motivate people.
  2. Sometimes an idea just has to have time to mature, so have patience. Some ideas have to come into their own time. I have designed jewelry that for a long time didn’t seem to be selling, but then for some reason they just took off and started selling like crazy!
  3. Take some time to relax, go for a walk, take a hot bath, etc. to get away from clutter, or stress of work to get the creative juices flowing. If you write, be sure to write out your ideas as soon as you can. Like Mercury, inspiration can be fleeting and swift.
  4. Make deadlines for yourself. Yes I said it: Have a deadline. Seems counter-intuitive for the creative mind but having a deadline gives it perspective in real-time. If you think you have all the time in the world, you’ll never get anything done. You will also spend less time on ideas that are counter-productive.
  5. Look over what ideas you have already in the mix. Which one has the most potential for being finished? I have had to do this with my manuscripts and stories. I had many unfinished ones, and in order to get something finalized, I had to decide which one was closest to being finished.
  6. Find some trustworthy friends to bounce your ideas off of before submitting that proposal or movie script. Better to hear it from a friend that it needs work. True friends can usually be trusted to tell you whether or not your idea is good or bad.

Hope these ideas help the next time you get writer’s block or if you suffer from too many ideas problem! Namaste-Marie Helena

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