May 10th, 2012
I don't write down ideas. In some weird way it constrains me more than helping to write it down. As soon as it gets down on paper it narrows my mind in the wrong direction. Let me explain a little bit further.
If I'd been writing a year ago, I would have kept a list of ideas about articles I could write. So that I wouldn't be finding myself running short on them. The list would surely be pretty long and I would have been totally imprisoned by it. Because of setting up this system I would be focusing on quantity instead of quality, and that is a dangerous approach. There's nothing harder to do than to try work passionately on something that's completely shallow for you today, and that result will benefit no one.
So am I then scrapping every idea that comes around in my head? Not at all.
One thing I've learned by experimenting is that great ideas stick. The ones that you can't get out of your head is the ones that grow substance. Now, those are the ideas worth pursuing. The ones that are less than great will float away. Exactly as it should be. Flexible ideas are the ones that grows in your head. Restraining ideas are the ones you have on paper.
Once you've written down an idea your mind will unconsciously get to work by setting expectations on yourself. Most of the time those expectations will never be met and when they don't, it brings stress. "If I only had more time…". But it's not about having enough time. Working on ideas that doesn't have substance will never be inspirational and can indeed be excruciatingly painful. Be careful not to work on such things.
I know what I want to work on today, I don't need a list telling me that because it doesn't know. A list is only constraining and limiting to how I saw the world yesterday. It's time to let go of the ideas that your past self dreamt up 2 months ago, and start execute on the ideas that excites you today.