THE ANATOMY OF A GOOD IDEA (+ 2 PRINTOUTS!)

Monday, February 8, 2016


If I’m honest, ideas bombard me. Constantly. I scribble ideas on random slips of paper, the dry-erase board in my room, on my school planner, and occasionally even on my own skin (with a pen...I'm not a tattoo artist, thank goodness). I have documents on Google Drive chock-full of ideas for stories and random endeavors that I’d pursue if I was a different person in a different life.

This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I’m almost never bored--my ideas make my life interesting. If I’m stuck doing something boring, like chores, I often find myself sifting through these ideas, imagining different scenarios in which they’d play out. It’s impossible to make all those ideas a reality, of course, but it’s nice to imagine them.

It’s a curse because you never know which of your ideas is actually a good one.


I used to think that all ideas were good ideas, mostly because I thought that since I’d made those ideas up, they must be good. Once I got over myself, I realized that a lot of the projects I’d taken on were pretty awful. My old writings have been pretty bad, past blogs occasionally haunt me in my nightmares, and my old drawings scream NOT THE NEXT PABLO PICASSO at the top of their nonexistent, poorly sketched lungs.
Now that I know that there are bad ideas and good ideas, I have a way to sift through all the bad ones and come up with the occasional good one that just might work. This post is part one in a two-part series that will teach you how to figure out if your ideas are worth pursuing or not. (Be sure to stay until the end of both posts--there are two printables for you to download!)

1. DOES IT STAND THE TEST OF TIME?
This is probably one of the most important questions to ask yourself as you figure out which project to tackle next. Sometimes we lose perspective in the heat of the moment. I remember, on multiple occasions, when I began writing a story the instant I got the idea for it, telling myself as I pounded out each word that this was the next Great American novel. (Since I’m still here and not famous, I’ll let you figure out for yourself whether those books worked out.)
That’s the mistake I made, and one I’m sure a lot of other people make as well. You have an idea? Great! Sit on it. Sleep on it. Dream about it. Think about it. Wait a week. Wait a month. Wait a year. If the idea’s still nudging you a while after you came up with it, maybe it’s actually worth your time.


2. WILL OTHER PEOPLE ENJOY THE MANIFESTATION OF YOUR IDEA?
If I’m honest, reception shouldn’t be a huge role in your creative process. If you’re going to do something, do it without caring about what other people might think of it.
But if you’re going to release your words or product or sculpture or photographs or film for the public to view, you have to take audience into consideration. I spent hours designing Silver Mess, figuring out its logo, its purpose, its aesthetic appeal. It was fun for me, but I also wanted it to be fun for other people to look at my blog, read it, discuss on it. Reception doesn’t validate what I write, but part of the mission should be creating something worthy of praise. And when you create something worthy of praise, you are creating something that should ultimately lead them to the whole point of why you create in the first place.




3. IS IT SOMETHING YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK AT/MAKE BETTER?
Your idea should fuel you to makes its reality the best thing it could possibly be. If you truly, honestly believe it has the potential to be something beautiful, you should be willing to work at it to make it the way you want it to be. If this is your passion, are you work at it consistently? Are you willing to invest your time into it? Are you willing to take the chance that your aspirations might never come to fruition?
(I’m pulling out all the SAT words for this one, folks.)
Is this idea worth your commitment?


4. IS IT SOMETHING YOU WOULD ENJOY DOING?
I genuinely like blogging. I’ve been blogging consistently for almost three years. I enjoy blogging at Silver Mess. I enjoy responding to comments, posting Instagram pictures and cheesy-yet-ironic #CreativeTips, enjoy navigating the Internet and reading other people’s blogs. It’s fun for me. It’s the whole reason I got into it in the first place.
No matter how hard you work or how good you think your ideas are, make sure you enjoy working hard at it. It’s hard, yes. You sacrifice a lot of the time you could be watching TV, yes. But it should be worth it.


Those are the questions I ask myself now when I get an idea. And, so you don’t have to take notes like this is school or something (pfffftt), I made two printouts for you guys! Yay!

Download the first one HERE!
Download the second one HERE!

This is my first venture into the printable-including world, so if you can’t download it or view it for some reason, please comment down below and I’ll try to fix it ASAP!


Comment the worst/most memorable idea you’ve ever had! (mine was when i tried to make a "sled" for my brothers out of cardboard for Christmas. i had this delusional idea that we would slide down the stairs on it.)

Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

© SILVER MESS. Design by FCD.