If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while.
This is because, recently, I have been struggling to develop my ideas properly and have been finding it hard to transform them from concepts into fully finished projects.
Unfortunately, at the moment the majority of my ideas currently seem to be going through the following life cycle:
The arrival of a new idea is always an exciting occasion. Although I’m not quite sure exactly what the idea is, I’m looking forward to exploring it further. The idea is full of untapped potential and I am completely and utterly convinced that it is unique and special.
As my idea begins to grow and develop, I tend to get extremely invested in it and become convinced that it will grow into something brilliant. At this point, the idea is still very much in the conceptual phase – the possibilities of what I can do with it are limitless and I tend to be completely blind to its flaws.
After a while, I start to flesh out the practicalities of transforming the idea from a concept into a fully fledged creative project. However, at this point, the idea tends to rebel. It starts to take on a life of its own and I no longer feel as though I have any influence over where it is heading. The idea has officially entered its awkward teenager years – it’s no longer 100% sure what it wants to be and working on it starts to fill me with an overwhelming sense of angst.
Occasionally, I manage to wrestle my idea into something that vaguely resembles a finished project. However, my expectations of the idea were so high in its infancy that the work that I have produced in reality doesn’t usually match up with the glory of my original vision. Having invested so much into the idealised vision of what the idea would become, this stage tends to be slightly disappointing.
At this point, I tend to hit crisis point. I’m not satisfied with the idea as it is and start to question if I’ve taken it in the wrong direction. That being said, I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet so I tend to make one drastic, last ditch attempt to change the idea in the hope that this will help it reach its potential.
Eventually, the idea decides that it is time to stop working all together. I might put the to one side with the intention of coming back to it later, but on the rare occasion that I actually do revisit it, I often get confused as to why I even though it was a good idea in the first place. The idea has officially reached the end of it’s lifecycle.
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4 thoughts on “The Life Cycle of an Idea”
I know exactly how you feel! 🙂
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Some of our ideas seem to run headlong into the brick wall of reality. There have been times when I was having an incredibly eye-opening dream, full of amazing insights and original thoughts, only to wake up and realize, in the light of cold, hard logic, that it was all nonsense.
This happens to me, too. I get in these patches where everything I do looks terrible. My tactic is to lower expectations and just make the goal ‘finish something’. It … kinda helps?
You have absolutely nailed it. You have written a perfect description of a “flash in the pan” that did not pan out.
On the other hand, it could. . . go the other way, in some future moment of inspiration.
Your sharing of this process–albeit it somewhat discouraging–nevertheless provides an insight into the creative process.
Very amusing, to say the least, for us writers. Thanks for sharing.