0 thoughts on “How do you know an idea is worth pursuing?

  1. Definitely we can learn from negatives. If we can’t we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over. I also like to think we don’t have to make the same mistakes as everyone else in order to learn from them. Bad ideas can sometimes lead to good things, just not necessarily the way we intended them to. Also, some may just go nowhere. We have to accept that and move on.

  2. That’s a really good point about bad ideas leading to good things, even if it’s not what we intended at first. So many things in life happen exactly that way. Really great point there Teeni. Makes me think that if we’re afraid of failure, then we’ll miss out on some of the really cool things that can even come from a failure.

  3. I run through some of the same thought processes on occasion. I’m a creative person, and would like to write – I too have ideas for stories, plays, novels and such but I find myself starting a project and as soon as I hit the first creative stop in the process, I abandon it and move on to something else. I lose interest. I realize it wasn’t that great an idea in the first place.

    Well, those are the things I tell myself at least.

    Right now I have ideas for adapting two books – a novel and a bio – into full-length plays. I know they could probably never actually be produced, but the process would be fun. So why don’t I start them? I don’t want to put in all that work of adapting the books for nothing. So I don’t.

    I also have an idea for a book as sort of a “sequel” or next-step for a classic existing story. A book that would explain (fictionally) where the author of the classic story came up with his ideas (think Lewis Carrol, but not exactly). I actually came up with an outline, sketched out a number of story ideas, started in on the first chapter – and lost interest again. And there it sits. It’s not going to be any good, it won’t work, it’s a dumb idea, it’s not interesting….all those old ideas continue to crop into my head.

    Any suggestions on continuing that creative process?

  4. Oh man, I’ve been running ideas through my head and pouring them out to paper (and screen) since I was a kid. The problem is that most of them get started, just never finished. I had an idea for a CDRom based comic book years ago, way back in the early days of interactivity. Essentially I procrastinated until the industry caught up to my thinking…then did nothing.

    This I find ends up being a common problem among Creatives…too much creativity and not enough Chutzpah to complete it. I’ve found that getting a partner helps immensely. My fellow iconogeek, Jason, and I wrote a short film a couple years back which started as a ridiculous conversation we had during our ride home from work. This blossomed into a full-blown dark comedy idea that we pushed each other to finish. We wrote a treatment and then sent drafts of the script back and forth over email until we finished it. Of course, this was always intended to be filmed (which never happened) but still, we actually FINISHED something. BTW the iconogeek podcast is a similar beast, as Jason and I push each other to get our butts on Skype and do it.

    Essentially, a good rule I’ve found is that unless you are singularly focused, a lone Creative is going to have trouble finishing the idea. A partner not only lends support and nudging, but a different perspective. The end result is always better than if you did it yourself.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, my next great idea is waiting 😉

  5. Good words. And hard to live by, especially when a whole story takes SO LONG to write and polish! This year, I’m playing a numbers game: my goal is to come up with a new novel idea every day, a pitch paragraph every week, a proposal (synopsis + chapters) a month. And six novellas (for money) and six novels to shop.

    I think I can, I think I can…

  6. @Barry – I completely understand what you’re dealing with! I’ve been known to put aside creative projects for the same reason – a concern that I’ll invest all that time into something that comes to nothing. I think one helpful solution would be to look at things the way Teeni suggested – that you never know what might evolve from an idea. It might not be the book you’re envisioning, but another idea might be sparked while you’re engrossed in that project that leads to something you would have never done otherwise… The mystery of that might be enough to pull me back to working on a few projects that are sitting around.

    @Chuck – That is VERY good advice. It is much harder to be motivated when you are a “lone” creative. I used to write screenplays for a children’s program, and I was part of a group of writers who contributed to the program. It helped so much to have that extra encouragement and motivation.

    @Spy – The numbers game sounds like a worthwhile experiment. A lot of it really does boil down to that…Am I willing to pursue enough ideas, submit enough proposals and queries, to finally find the one that takes?

  7. Apparently, I’m one of the only people on this entire planet who actually liked New Coke and was sad to see it go.

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