I have thousands of ideas per day, about one to six topics I want to pour the time into writing, and not enough time to block out to working on those ideas. While I like the idea of thousands of little ideas vying for the top slot, there’s more to it than that: there’s sacrificing the time to properly develop the idea.
It all starts with an idea.
When you’re working on something else, and there’s a little mistake that looks like a certain something, or reads in a clever way that spirals away in its own direction, it’ll germinate as this little piece of glitter in the grime. You see it clearly in your mind. It’s such a cool idea. The only problem is externalizing that idea.
That’s where the work comes in.
The idea starts as a bold shout in the dark. You shine a light toward it. It seems like it’s not quite there at all. Maybe you misheard it. You ignore it until you hear it again. Was it a little rumble in the distance? You shine a light around again. This time you might have caught its tail in the light. You run after it. At first nothing. Then it strikes and you react. Caught it!
The writing process can feel like you’re hunting down a mythical idea.
It can be so freeing when you’re in the middle of writing a big idea that you’ve been working on for a while, where the words are just pouring out of you faster than you can type. You’re catching up to the idea. It’s like when you’re in good physical health and you’re in the middle of a workout. It’s hard work and yet you don’t even think about it. It’s not that you’re going through the motions, or on autopilot. It’s not a-
And then you lose the idea. It’s done. Probably shelve it?
The more you practice working on ideas, the easier it will become. I’ve found that by doing the work, I’ll commit errors along the way – I’m sure there’s at least one typo hidden on the site – and that’s a good thing because it shows that I, and eventually the crew, are putting in the time. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Aiming for perfection is the great sin of any craft. It’s about working your hardest toward executing an idea that seems the most rewarding and you do that by spending time with the idea and seeing if it’ll develop into something more.
Just on Better Zombie alone, I’ve written 35 draft posts, with 4 more in the trash.
With as of now 44 posts that I’ve published over the last six months or so, I have started to see an improvement in my writing, because I’ve spent time engaged in the writing process, and I’ve established bolder ideas. While I don’t think it’s a battle between the idea and the work, without either one, the other suffers.
Working just makes executing your ideas easier.