Improve the Quality of Your Ideas Today
As creators, we are constantly thinking of new ways to please our readers and audience. But how do we ensure our ideas remain top quality. Read to find out.
Every Sunday, I sit down for about 30 mins and think about what I want to write for the following week. Although this process has been working for me for the last couple of months, it has been limiting.
I have become so dependent on being able to think my way to ideas, I have started to run out of them. Unfortunately for me, creativity does not come from having a stagnant process. However, many of us treat it as so, especially writers.
I work in strategy, and I have spent the last year defining a process for idea creation. It has repeatedly been sent back to me to get reviewed because someone senior does not like it. But when I think about it, why am I even trying to create a streamlined process for creativity?
Number 1, creativity is not one process. We all find our creative spark in different ways. Yes, some environments reduce our creativity, like the standard classroom. But, to set a process on creativity is near impossible.
Number 2, when we look at the most creative individuals, they go against order and authority. Many of them have had curious minds to think against the status quo and used their unique methods to produce ideas.
On this platform, I read tonnes of articles trying to help writers to get better. Before any of my fellow writers feel uncomfortable, I think these articles should exist if they are genuine. After all, it is nice to see that writers want to help each other get better.
However, the articles I have read on creativity and coming up with ideas have been poor. Most try to give you a framework or a list of steps you have to go through to create. But creativity is not like this at all.
If you want to produce brilliant ideas to engage your readers, you can not think in a stagnant manner. Having a day to plan content has helped me a lot. But having a day to create has not. That is why I have been struggling to come up with ideas recently.
To begin thinking up quality ideas, you must first start with scraping your process. Here is how I have begun thinking up good ideas once again. And no, I am not going to give you a step-by-step guide.
Before you say anything, I know creativity requires thought. Yet still, we often think too much. As writers, we try to piece the article together before we have written the first word.
We want to make sure that all the ideas link and everything is perfect in our heads. Only then do we put our pen to paper or hands to the keyboard and write.
I am not encouraging that we are disorganised as writers. All ideas should link together. However, at the very early stages of idea creation, we can not depend on our intuition. We have to allow the idea to expand in our minds before we try to fill it with other things.
The best creation ultimately springs from curiosity. And curiosity often dies once people know the answer or feel competent enough. That is part of the reason why we all enjoy surprises so much. We are curious to find out what it is, and we follow the person along the journey in thought until we see it.
A great idea is like a surprise that springs from curiosity and creativity. However, we can stop the potential of a great idea forming by starting to interrupt our journey with thoughts. These tend to lead to blockers, and we end up forcing ourselves to stop.
When we stop questioning and start thinking about the answer prematurely, we halt our journey. A thought can lead us down so many avenues and new paths if only we are curious enough to explore them. The problem is, we want to think of something to write quickly. When we feel something is not worth it, we halt our journey with a different thought.
I have started producing ideas again because I have given myself time to venture. I no longer sit down and try to think of what to write. Instead, I capture little thoughts and things I read along my day. Then, I take a seat back to allow my mind to wander. It has been much better than thinking about what to write every Sunday.
In a world where we like to rush things, this can be difficult to do. It takes time and patience to allow for you to take a journey exploring a specific thought without interrupting with your voice or thinking. However, practising mindfulness and being present can help this.
If you are like me, you will probably find that the advice to stop thinking is not enough. So, if you keep interrupting your potential ideas with unproductive or discouraging thoughts, here is one more thing you can do.
When we are in a position where we feel like we know enough, we are not growing. I noticed I kept struggling to find new ideas to explore because I knew the answer to everything.
Almost every article I could think of felt bland and like something I had already written. And that is because I was in a position where my thoughts would continue to interrupt me. Not because I wanted to think, but because I had already trod the path before.
For example, you probably do not think about picking your child up from school anymore. The route, the time it takes and everything else involved is nothing but a habit. If I told you to think of a new innovative way to do it, you would probably struggle.
New ideas do not come from regularity, and that is a good thing. If we want to start producing unique ideas, we ought to live through unique experiences. We can not expect great ideas from doing the same thing every day.
Me sitting at my desk every Sunday trying to think of new articles was damaging my creativity. My thoughts would constantly interrupt me when I was trying to think of something new.
The ideas we produce are dependent on the quality of our experiences. If we stop experiencing new things, our curiosity will dwindle, and our ideas will fade. That is why adults find it hard to explore anything further. It is because we are so used to living one way, we struggle to do it any other way.
Your ideas depend on the quality of your life. So, start doing things differently. Put a new fruit in your salad, try a new restaurant, email someone new at work and explore somewhere new.
Your ideas depend on your experiences. If you are not actively trying to live your life, your habits will live it for you. As a result, your ideas will be lame and repeated because your life is so.
So, to stop letting your thoughts jump to answers, you must put yourself in situations where you do not know anything. It is where ideas will be produced, and curiosity will be sparked.
In the great words of Einstein:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
So yes, I agree writing must be a daily habit. I agree that we should put time aside to create and plan what we want to communicate to our readers. However, we should never think that we can remain comfortable in our environment and produce new ideas.
It is only by venturing out and coming out of your comfort zone you will find the gems you need to produce better ideas.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.