Are you a writer with too many ideas? Many creative writers suffer from the crippling effect of ‘so many ideas, so little time’. We have loads to do in this life and all of it matters. A lot.
But somehow we have to sift through our own blocks, excuses and perhaps even perceptions (i.e. ‘but I’m different, I really do have too many ideas for this lifetime’) to get on with what we’re born to do.
Here’s how I do it with clients, friends and colleagues — I even try it on myself — usually to great effect! If you’re really clever you might be able to crank out this exercise in an hour. (If you do, let us know!)
1. Brainstorm your head off! (15 mins)
Most people are very very bad at brainstorming. They come up with a few ideas then get bored or start to analyse the ideas before they’re even written down or are too shy to jot down the big ones.
Be better than that. Jot down all of the ideas you’ve ever had, no matter how crazy. Write them all on a huge sheet of paper, jot them in a notebook or on loose sheets that you can pile up high! If you must use a digital format, please remember this is not a list; it’s a shower of ideas. Do not delete anything.
2. Identify (15 mins)
It’s wise to leave those ideas to simmer for a day or so but if you just don’t have time because it’s nearly February then leap straight into identifying where the energy is.
First of all, identify which fabulous ideas align best with what you want outta life in 2015. If you don’t know what that is yet, start with one — or all — of the following links:
Or the following questions might get you going … Where is the energy? What will make your life easier when it’s done? Which challenge have you been meaning to try for years? What will bring the most joy, credibility or income? If these questions throw up dozens more questions without answers try Tracking Wonder’s 7-minute prioritiser. Jeffrey Davis has come up with a creative way of scoring each idea. I found it really useful.
3. Prioritise (15 mins)
Now it’s election time. You’ve got loads of ideas. I know, I know … But you have to decide on a couple. This is the plain truth. You can’t do it all all at once.
If you choose one, how does it feel? If not relieved, stimulated, a little-bit-scared but also excited, or all three, then go for a wander and a ponder. How does it look and feel when you come back? None of the above? Choose another. Repeat as necessary.
4. Schedule (10 mins)
Brainstorm all of the actions it’ll take to achieve your first 2015 dream. Identify the first three actions you need to take. Just three. Start small. Schedule time to complete these. (Say exactly when you’ll have it done by. Add it to your calendar.) Then schedule time to review these and plan the next three. (Ditto with the time and the calendar.)
5. Review (5 mins)
Make sure reviewing is part of the plan. If you don’t, you’ll kick along merrily for a couple of weeks and then, when the excitement dies and the year builds, your big plans’ll drop off like so many others before them.
• Will you review in 3 weeks, 6 weeks or 3 months?
• What questions will you ask in your review?
• Do you want help from A story to tell … or will you manage it yourself?
Remember: it takes commitment and creativity to pull off big plans! If your big plans are of a writerly nature, call A story to tell … If you’re committed, we can step you through this process in 90 minutes.
We hope your words pour in 2015!