My Failproof Process for Creating New Ideas

Image for post
Image for post

Here is exactly how I came up with my idea for a post which got nearly 300 recommends, reached thousands of people, and fairly successful post I wrote last week.

Step 1: I grabbed for the coffee early one morning, taking great care to bang one hand on the cabinet door and use the other to wipe sleep out of my eyes.

Step 2: I poured the water into the Keurig and waited.

Step 3: The machine sputtered and coughed, taking longer than usual to pour our the liquid gold.

Step 4: I mumbled “What’s the matter with you?” in a British accent (because my American one was still in bed.)

Step 5: My mind drifted to Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter), who spoke nearly the same words in The Chamber of Secrets.

Step 6: I remembered one of my favorite lines in the movie (“Goyle, I didn’t know you could read!”) was allegedly ad libbed by the 14-year-old.

Step 7: I thought — “Why do the best things always come from ad libbing?”

Step 8: I thought — “Everyone should be able to ad lib”

Step 9: I thought — “I should write a post on ad libbing.”

Step 10: I pulled my coffee out of the Keurig, smiled, walked upstairs, and started writing.

Why am I telling you this?

To point out a few things:

No, I didn’t watch Harry Potter when I was 13 with the hope that one day I would be able to create an article from it.

No, I didn’t keep from buying a new Keurig because the old one days a long time, thus giving my genius brain more time to feed me ideas.

No, I didn’t intentionally combine elements of popular things (Harry Potter, coffee, list-type articles, long form posts) to create a new piece of content* in hopes you would buy my new book.

*If you pronounce that word out loud sarcastically with a bit of a sneer, that’s exactly how I said it just now

Instead, I write every day with no agenda.

Instead, I Microjournal most days.

Instead, I stop writing when I am tired instead of HUSTLE(!)-ing.

Because here’s the thing about being an artist:

You have permission to consume. You have permission to wait. You have permission to create whatever you want. You have permission to not fit in a box. You have permission to dawdle and drink coffee before 8:00 A.M., secure in the knowledge that even though some have already run 3 miles and slammed a green smoothie, that might not be your path.

Your only mandate is to create art every day. Other than that, live life.

You only have one of those.

If you liked this, you’ll probably like 6 Ways to Improve Your Creativity

Written by

An optimist who writes.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store