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Dan Goodwin : Creative Ideas

Let the Flowers Blossom!

How to Get the Most from Your Creative Ideas

By Dan Goodwin

All of us who are creative are aware on some level of the different stages of creativity. A new creative project will go through a number of phases, from being a twinkle of an idea in the corner of your mind, to a fully realised project set off out into the world.

One of the most crucial phases of creating — and one that is often given little attention, if any at all — is where we let our creative ideas gestate.

This is the time between having that original idea for your new project, to actually getting down and starting the serious creative work on it.

Sometimes we can have a new idea and instantly surge straight into creating, riding that giant wave of inspiration like a champion surfer.

But not often.

Most of the time though, it's of huge benefit to us to give that seed of an idea time to germinate. Let it just unfold a little on its own rather than try to rip it open before it's ready.

Imagine it being like a flower blossoming.

At first there's just a tight green bud. Not much to look at or appreciate, but laden with the promise, intrigue and possibility that something beautiful inside is waiting to reveal itself.

As it slowly unfurls its gift to the world, petal by petal, we start to see more and more of the beauty that was promised, until finally it's in full bloom, a glorious perfect form of vibrant colour and delicious scent.

If we'd have been impatient and tried to force those petals open before they were ready, it just wouldn't have worked, the blossom would be ruined.

The flower needs the right conditions, the right nurturing, and enough time to reveal itself to its full potential.

Much the same as our creative ideas...

So how can we provide the best conditions and nurturing for our ideas, so that they too bloom into the most wonderful vibrant blossoms?

It begins with how we collect them in the first place.

How often have you been struck with a brilliant idea, thought: "Wow, I'll jot that down later, I'm sure I'll remember it..." only to, er, forget it completely.

How many dozens, hundreds, thousands, of ideas do you think you've lost over your lifetime, because you haven't captured them?

By having an ideas notebook of some kind with you at all times, you can jot these ideas down when they first come to you. Then, once written down, they begin to take on a life of their own.

The simple act of putting your idea down on paper plays a vital role.

It says to your creativity and your subconscious: "This is a worthwhile idea. It could really develop into something great. Now it's written down, you have permission to let it evolve, play around with it a little and see what else comes from it…".

As you come up with further ideas, add them to your ideas notebook.

The more you do this, the easier it becomes for the ideas to flow.

You're building on the "permission to have ideas" and now giving yourself the clear message: "You know what, I CAN have a steady flow of ideas. And many of them are really great ones!".

Of course not everything you record in your notebook will turn into a beautiful flower.

But the more ideas you write down, the more you let the ideas flow, the more freely they'll come to you, and the better they get. •

© Copyright 2007 Dan Goodwin

Dan GoodwinDan Goodwin is a Creativity Coach with a focus on helping people who are frustrated that their creative abilities are not being used. More »

5/13/07