Cultivating Ideas

If I could, I would trademark ‘Imagination at Work’ for myself. GE has already done that, so I will use my envy and let my imagination soar.

Why am I sharing GE’s ‘Ideas are Scary’ advertisement? Because it is truth.

Ideas are scary. And exciting. And horrifying. And terrifying. And the lubricant that keeps the universe working.

Mankind has been imaginating (my word) from the dawn of time. They have developed ideas  – big and small, successful and epic fails –  all to move forward. Civilizations have risen and fallen, men and women have traveled through space, Earth has been mapped and explored, all due to the power of an idea.

Writers take these elements of inspiration and use them to form the core of our stories.

As writers, we can’t act on an idea unless we record them. Yes, our files are filled with scraps of paper, torn napkins filled with scribbles where the ink has run, old receipts with stories and novels sketched out on them, and our hard drives are scarier. One persons treasure can be misconstrued as someone else’s trash. It’s all about perception. These piles and files are troves of treasures waiting to be refined.

Sometimes an idea needs to sit and marinate in the compost pile that I call my fertile imagination. I regularly turn the pile, looking at older ideas to see if their time has come. Then I pull the idea that is swollen and filled with the material I need to write the story that is meant to be.

The idea might be messy, scary, clear, or malodorous but it is ready to come into being.

Take the time to record those ideas that flash across you mind when you are in the shower, driving (pull over when safe or chant until you can put the idea down), in the middle of an important conversation with your boss, or wakes you up in the middle of the night. You can do nothing with an idea you can’t remember.

Don’t be fearful of the ideas. Instead, care for them and let them come into fruition.

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One comment

  • I have those same files and when the well of inspiration is dry I go searching. Sometimes I find a piece that hardly needs any editing.

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