October 24, 2011

Too Creative For Your Own Good

I’m the queen of ideas. Just ask my family. The well of ideas bubbles, gushes, overflows, and never runs dry.

I think the technical term for that is visionary, but really I just bore easily and need creativity almost as much as oxygen.

In some respects, having a lot of ideas is a glorious thing. My editing clients think so. They love the fact that I can look at their situation, see the big picture, open their mind to new possibilities, cast a vision for what can be, and show them how to get there.

But abundant creativity also has a downside. Every day I wake up with a fresh vision—a different one from yesterday or from an hour ago or from five minutes ago. Thus, my mind is a junkyard of rusty ideas that have never been used.

Are you like me? Do you flit from idea to idea like a bee who can’t find just the right flower with just the right pollen? Are you always finding a new flower or a new field, but never producing honey? 

How do us creative types ever get any writing done?

Obviously, I’m no expert on the subject, but I can share my “ideas” on the issue.

Pick one. Pick an idea, something you really like, that arouses passion in you, that you could actually stick with for a while and not get bored. This is half the battle, simply choosing one idea to run with. We are so afraid we won’t pick the right one or that we’ll get halfway through the project and be too bored to finish. Or worse yet, what if we don’t pick the perfect one or we miss God’s will? Yikes!

Find an accountability partner. Hint: You are not it! Find someone else, someone less flighty, someone who has a history of actually accomplishing things. Find someone who will rein you in when your mind starts to wander and someone who won’t put up with your junk. Find a drill sergeant!

Delegate. One reason I don’t follow through very well is because I hate the nitty gritty administrative tasks that go into bringing my ideas to fruition. I easily get bogged down in these details and feel like I’m suffocating from a lack of creativity. If you have the money and resources, which I often do not, hire some help to do the things you don’t do well.

Always have a creative outlet. Don’t become so engrossed in a project or in life that you can’t ever let those creative ideas flow. You aren’t made to operate this way. But you may need to find creativity in other ways while you focus on a writing project so you won’t be tempted to run off on another writing tangent. For example, if I’m heavily engrossed in a writing project, I’ll do crafts, homemaking projects, or gardening on the side to keep those creative juices flowing without interfering with my writing.

In a perfect world, I could continually come up with new ideas and then implement them all. But I don’t live in a perfect world. But sometimes I think I do. Therein lies the problem. I don’t have forever, but I think I do. So I churn out idea after idea, but have nothing to show for it.

Sometimes I'm just too creative for my own good.



Miss Sandy said...


It never fails that when I open your blog you have a ready word that is exactly what I need to hear. I am trying to accomplish what is for me a large writing project and I keep getting bogged down in details or new idea directions. I think I need a drill Sargent! I am off to look for one right now! Thank you for this post that is truly reining me in and getting me back on track. I hope you are enjoying some wonderful autumn weather. Many Blessings,

Kathryn Ross said...

This is hitting the target regarding me, Bonita. Most of the time, people don't know what to do with me because the average person can't relate to a plethora of ideas - big ideas - grand schemes. I have so many started projects in unfinished piles - files. Like you - so much I want to do and explore and little to no time to do it!

I always thought I needed someone to discover me and then develop me - like an agent who handled all the nasty admin stuff so I could be free to do what I do. It's been hard freelancing because I have to do both. Neither one - I feel - ever at my optimum because I had to split myself down the middle.

Now, not freelancing so much - but the trade-off is being locked up in a building for three days a week - working for someone else who wants me to be creative - but puts the emphasis on data data data. I'm drowning.

Praying the Lord uses me where I am, I learn my lessons here, well - and am finally delivered into a place where I can truly use all I have to give - and get paid a living wage while doing it!



Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...

*Crack, crack!!* That's your drill sergeant cracking the whip :-). Do you have any idea how hard it is sometimes for us drill sergeant types to be creative and go with the flow? That's why we're a good balance for each other :-).

Lisa said...

Oh, me, too! Being trained as a Life Coach is definitely helping me understand why I am the way I am, and freeing me to set boundaries while pursuing passions. What a novel concept!

Thanks for the practical points of direction! Good to keep in mind at the start of a busy week!



Jean-Marc Saint Laurent said...

This was really good Bonita. The other day I was writing my own blog,The Ripping Jean(.blogspot.com)and I sat there wondering why I wasn't working on something else. You've really encouraged me to continue my clothing and music projects while finishing up my manuscript. Muchas Gracias!

Jean-Marc Saint Laurent