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When To Keep Creative Secrets: Stop Talking Your Ideas To Death

by Shane Mehling
creativity

creative secret

When we feel the thrill of a great idea, our first instinct is to grab the nearest person and share it. But there’s a problem — ideas are very light. It seems like the best ones, once you open your mouth, are likely to fly off back into the aether.

One big reason we want to share our ideas immediately is we
want that little extra boost, the confirmation that yes, that is a great idea. Of course, as many very talented people will tell you, there is no shortage of great ideas out there; there is, though, a notable lack of good executions.

“But,” you think to yourself, “I don’t want to waste my time on something that isn’t a good idea. I just need to know I’m headed in the right direction.” This is called self-doubt and it is the biggest killer of great ideas in history. You think you’re getting encouragement but you’re actually handing over the wheel. The fate of the idea now lies with someone who may not like it, or suggest tweaking it, or they don’t love it like you were hoping they would. The idea is already losing its luster and you haven’t actually done anything yet.

The other issue is that rarely does a great idea make it all the way to being a finished project without at least one major alteration. An idea is a pretty flat thing and when you start adding dimensions you may realize that the idea can’t actually work without overhauling something that makes it not only a reality, but actually makes your great idea even greater.

We’ve all heard the comparison of an idea to a seed. And for that seed to grow into something big and mighty it needs a lot of care and attention. Maybe you know people who have nurtured something small, expecting that it will blossom soon, or maybe you know others who have high hopes for a fragile little thing sprouting out of the ground. But no one should be walking around, showing off a seed in their hands and asking if anyone else thinks it’s going to grow into something amazing. They need to plant it as soon as possible.

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Shane Mehling

Shane Mehling is a freelance writer and editor who plays in noiserock bands.