Idea generation to project execution follows the same trajectory as a piece of writing, from first draft to final draft.
And what do your first draft and final draft have in common?
Sometimes, not much.
So, it doesn’t make sense to get discouraged, or give up, if an idea doesn’t work out.
But it frequently happens, and it stops worthwhile creative projects from coming to life — in the form that they were meant to be in.
Overcome “my way or the highway”
In middle school, I had a hardline teacher who introduced us to the idiom, “My way or the highway.”
But if you want to work in a creative field, you have to laugh at that concept and kindly dismiss it.
The original version of your idea won’t likely work out.
It’s not that the idea was bad or wrong; it’s just that all of the moving parts of any creative project require that you remain flexible during the production process.
The essence of your idea may not take shape until your second or third (or fourth or fifth) attempt, and you’ll end up frustrated or defeated if you’re strict about how things should go while challenging circumstances keep presenting themselves.
The beauty of the scenic route
Those challenging circumstances happen to help your original idea evolve and expand.
Because as great as you thought it was at first, your preliminary plan was just a draft — the passionate spark you needed.
You can eventually create a fruitful final product, if you adapt your foundational version to the right version.
The classic phrase could be tailored for creatives to:
“My way, or we could take the scenic route. Let’s open ourselves up to the best option.”
And that outlook isn’t just for your own peace of mind, either.
When you’re part of a creative team, you want to be the easy-to-work-with rock who rolls with the punches — not the delicate flower who freaks out because something didn’t go according to the plan and they can’t let it go.
3 steps to a determined, but flexible, creative attitude
To deactivate creative kryptonite, you need to release
kontrol control while staying determined to reach your goal.
Here’s what that looks like:
- Simplify what you want to achieve to one sentence.
- Release your attachment to the initial details of your plan.
- Commit to any work needed to complete the project as close to your original idea as possible (but it will probably be better).
Creative professionals devote time to practicing those three steps, and if you’re looking to get better at them, you won’t want to miss Sonia Simone’s creativity workshop later this year.
Get invited to a private Copyblogger workshop
Sonia’s going to be leading a workshop on how to use a physical notebook — like the THINKERS Notebook — to develop, flesh out, and refine creative ideas.
This session walks you through the Portable Writer’s Studio™, a format she developed for keeping a creative journal. It’s based on how artists use their sketchbooks, and it’s designed to help strengthen your creative muscles.
Sonia will show you how to keep your creative practice fresh, what kinds of things can go into your journal, and how to get past the overwhelm factor.
The workshop covers a few exercises that are fun and interesting enough that the assignments are easy to fit in, even with all of the distractions and obligations that want our attention.
These are simple exercises that you can begin to do every day — and your writing will start to get stronger.
Workshop participants also have the chance to get together inside the Copyblogger Slack channel to work through creative blocks and create regular creative habits.
The THINKERS Notebook makes a perfect “sketchbook” for writers and creative thinkers. And if you order a couple (or more) using the link on this page, you’ll get access to Sonia’s Portable Writer’s Studio workshop for free.
Here’s how it works
Order at least two THINKERS Notebooks using this link:
(We actually recommend you pick up at least four. When you start using a notebook as your writer’s “sketchbook,” you begin to fill a lot of notebooks, and you’ll like having extras handy.)
Then send a screenshot of your pledge to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the email subject line: “THINKERS workshop.”
Dee, our ultra-friendly support person, will add your name to the invite list for the private workshop. We haven’t set a date yet, but it will be scheduled closer to the ship date for the THINKERS Kickstarter. It’ll be recorded, in case the date or time aren’t convenient for you.
Dee will also send you an invitation to our Copyblogger Slack group. You can join that right away, and connect with Sonia there, if you like, with your questions, concerns, or stuck spots around your own creative output and habits.
A couple of rules:
- You need to use our link to buy your notebooks — it’s an affiliate link, meaning we get a few dollars in commission, which helps cover the costs of the workshop.
- You need to pledge at the $50 or higher level. That level currently gets you two notebooks (there are about 220 left at that tier, after which it’s an additional $5 for the pair).
- We need to receive your receipt by Monday, March 11, 2019 in order to send you your free invitation to the workshop.
If you decide to wait, the workshop will be available later … but it will be an additional cost (about $100). So you might as well pick it up today.
Click the button below to grab your notebooks, Copyblogger Slack invitation, and private workshop!