It started off as a tiny shape. Then it grew. It grew a lot. I can now feel it squirming around inside-I think it wants to come out.


I often think of the SW writing community like a laboratory, or maybe even a maternity ward. Writing is sometimes like being pregnant (with apologies and great respect for those who have experienced the real thing).

The process from start to finish has the same arc any professional project has, without the commitment or guilt.

To write such short articles for a defined audience can be just the kind of creative/production exercise that we all need from time to time. It’s never easy to discipline ourselves to focus and do it. Nobody likes to exercise. But we all badly need to-at least some of us do.

In this SW venue you can play out ideas and notions, seeing what sticks-and what stinks. You are forced to be brief in your expressions. And to be ruthless in editing out your favorite word-art that you personally loved, but does not advance the idea. You learn real quickly from your successes and failures. You learn what folks like or dislike in a matter of minutes, hours, days. You don’t have to wait a lifetime.

Now of course the SW audience is a skewed (I think that’s the word) audience sampling. But if you try hard you can extrapolate those lessons and apply to something more macro; more real; more profitable.

I recently published a SW article on Creativity-always a very volatile and dangerous topic to explore-it was a big hit (sic). So, I decided to write this kin article about Ideas.

I usually refrain from sequels as it’s not my style, but I have this odd urge to always experiment. I guess I hanker to play around a lot-that is probably why I’m always pregnant.

Fortunately I am blessed, surrounded by honest family and friends to bounce off un-birthed ideas. They help save me from myself before I look the fool. This system often works.

Are all ideas good? Is any idea bad?

Well, surprising many ideas are good ones. That is not to say that they can easily be translated into any existing formats. A true test is, do they gain momentum in the transformation process of production, or become diluted?

I have been fortunate bumping elbows with thinking, creative-types throughout my life journeys; first at school, professionally and throughout life. They were/are three-dimensional thinkers who, when pondering an idea, feel as comfortable using a microscope as they do a telescope exploring how things work in order to create something new. I learned a lot from them.

That is not to say that I can easily apply such learnt knowledge. I did remember to appreciate thinking wide as well as deep to gain a clearer perspective of those things which I am ignorant-which was/is more than a lot.

But one notion I never forgot: It is about the evolution of an idea. And why good ideas often die in infancy.

Creative approaches for ideas are often inspired by someone else’s work; just manipulating another’s technique, either consciously or ‘un’. You might think it is an earth–shattering, original concept; one which will reshape humankind. But, as in most things forced, there is never enough inertia to sustain the motion.

Eventually the passions run out of steam. Every idea goes through such junctures. You stop, unable to go further until there is an awakening, a rebirth. The project is on hold until…you become inspired again?

A great artist told me that everyone has such crisis. With every idea comes the destiny to be unfulfilled until the creator has been transformed- usually not without some pain.

It is like a creative puberty; that awkward transition from adolescence into adulthood that every living thing must endure.

He also explained that this ‘crisis’ is really the chasm between a known situation- where you are building upon an existing template- and the unknown. It is outside our comfort-zone, way over on the other side waiting for all the uniqueness we can muster.

The transformation is when you take full ownership of an idea, you assume full parental responsibility and not just the role as its guardian-there is a difference. Pain and creation are not incompatible; they are eternally bonded by the nature of ideas.

I recently heard about a poster a cancer survivor remembered seeing in an examination room. It was an idea about leaping:

When you take that step into the unknown, a faithful person just knows that there will be steps waiting for every footstep…and if there are no steps, then somehow, you will quickly learn to fly.

An interesting thought to ponder. I guess we need to learn not just to see the void looking back at us in such situations.

Every time you begin to birth an idea you assume the same role of a parent. Ideas are like children in that we all want them to become brain surgeons, lawyers or senators (or the equivalent these days). But an idea is just an idea…with all the potential for greatness, or failure.

Steven Spielberg related the old Hollywood adage about making movies. I guess you could easy relate to any idea-endeavor:

A success breeds many parents, and a failure is an orphan. 

That is what it is like to fulfill a creative contract with an idea. It is born and soon off into the world with only that which you have armed. A part of you seems to die so that they can live. Or is it the other way around?

And if an idea turns sour in the mouth of the audience, you simply begin again. Because in the end, you understand that the audience is always right. You learn.

And you move forward, again challenged with that blank screen, seducing you with the idea to become pregnant all over again.

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