Here’s an idea

Just start and the ideas will follow.

Of course it’s not quite that easy, but when you “just start” surprising things can happen. That’s because the hardest thing about writing a draft isn’t coming up with the words. The hardest thing is sitting down to actually do it, to start.

If you can sit down and take a few minutes to put in the work, that’s the biggest victory you can have in the world of creative acts. Not coming up with the ideas themselves, but taking whatever ideas you do have, working with what you know and have available to you now, and seeing what can happen with it all.

Not knowing what to create isn’t really a justifiable hinderance because you can sit down and write whatever comes to mind or doodle randomness on the page and that’s still something. Maybe not exactly what you hope or dream of making, but it’s something. If you never sit down to do the work, if you only let ideas exist in the ether of your mind, you’re being just as impactful as not doing anything at all. In the world of creativity there are those who merely dream and those who do nothing, the difference is impossible to tell from the outside.

Of course you don’t actually have to sit down to do the work either. You can go for a walk and voice record a story to be transcribed later. Or instead of sitting down to paint at a canvas, you can draw in the dirt with the heel of your door. Rather than sitting down to brainstorm with your team, you can go hiking and see what ideas develop through natural conversation.

Doodle. Journal. Meditate. Take voice notes. Go for a walk with a friend. Play with the world around you. The point is to make time to do the work, any work. Without it your ideas are intangible, ever-changing, hard to define, just as good as never having had occurred.

I really wish I could remember where this quote came from, but it’s always stuck by me over the years. It’s a quote from a famous writer, who said something along the lines of: “I’m writing, even when I’m not.” The premise of the quote is that everything the writer does throughout the day goes into what he or she inevitably writes. The writer might see something that secretly embeds its characteristics into their thinking, only to bubble-up again some days later in the writing itself, unbeknownst to the writer.

What you do in order to get the ideas out doesn’t really matter, you can always rewrite a draft or erase a line from a drawing. But you can’t rewrite what was never written. You can’t erase what was never put onto the page.

Ideas are everywhere, if you’re willing to look for them. It’s when we capture them in some form, by making the time to create and draft and doodle, that we begin to see what they can become.