Monday, July 19, 2010

The Blessing and Temptation of Good Ideas

I like to think I have some pretty good ideas. Chances are, you have some good ideas, too. Who's ideas are better? The reality is, it doesn't much matter.

It's commonly said that ideas are cheap, and my stack of notebooks filled with unfinished story concepts is pretty good proof of that theory. An idea - even a good one - is worth next to nothing. True value comes from the implementation.

The problem with implementation is that it takes time. And effort. And, in many cases, financial investment. Since these resources are finite, and ideas are limitless, trying to decide which ideas are worth the necessary commitment can be paralyzing.

(Did you catch that? Fear of Commitment - my manly contribution to the blog this month.)

But seriously, knowing which ideas to throw your time and talents behind, and which ones to set aside, is one of the many hard things this writing gig demands.

With cheap, easy, good ideas coming at us from all directions, it's tempting to let a shiny new concept distract us from a project that has progressed from "fun" to become "work." Yet abandoned projects are little better than shiny new ideas. It's the ability to see a project through to the end that provides true value.

Ideas are cheap.

Implementation is priceless.

How do you maintain your focus and keep yourself from getting distracted by every fancy new idea that comes your way?


Michael Knudsen said...

Good post, Don. Even worse than failing to implement great ideas is actually forgetting about them before you write them down! Because the best ideas are usually accompanied by strong feelings, once the feeling passes, the idea can pass too unless a record is made.

Steve said...

Thanks for the post. I have real difficulty multi-tasking in my writing projects. I have to choose one, complete and then move on.

Even trying to edit my work while working on a new project is difficult for me as I seem to be limited in my creative output. I suppose I'll get better with practice.

Christine Thackeray said...

Bravo. I needed to hear this one. I know where I need to put my focus and NO MORE getting sidetracked. Thanks.