The idea grows into a vision so bright that you feel as if you can reach out and grab it and poof it into being right then and there. You want to shout it from the rooftops, “Look at me! Look at my great idea!”
You have NO DOUBT that your idea is brilliant, that success is imminent, you expect Fame and Fortune to knock on your door any moment to praise you for your creativity.
The idea may or may not get written down. The glimmer dims and what looked like the next best thing since the I-Pad fades out of your memory like a lost dream.
Where did it go? Why did you let it slip away? How did something that bright lose its shimmer overnight?
How can you get more of those great ideas to turn into great results? How do you save those creative gifts before they turn to sand?
Create A Dream Catcher.
No, I am not talking about the spidery thingies that some people have hanging over their bed. (Though I have one of those too.)
I’m talking about a specific process and plan for capturing those dreams and turning them into Creative Reality.
Dreams and ideas are funny critters. They never come when you have time for them, and they don’t typically cooperate when you try to capture them in detail. They like to stay fuzzy and when you try to nail them down with specifics, they can turn out to be nothing more than mist.
A good dream catcher plan creates a system for hanging on tight until the time is right.
The Dream Catcher Plan
Create a dedicated Dream/Idea book. Keep it with you at all times. Ideas scribbled on scraps of paper, sticky notes and and the back of postcards have almost a zero percent chance of implementation. Even the ones in your cell phone notes are going to be lost if you don’t get back to reviewing them. Having a good old-fashioned notebook is a great way to keep all of your ideas in one place. If you are more techie-oriented than most, a product called Evernote, or even Google Docs could be an electronic way to keep your notes tidy and all in one place.
Write down the original thought/idea without critique. We have a tendency to embellish or fix ideas as we are writing them down. Save that for later. You want that first creative stream of consciousness to flow effortlessly onto the page. Don’t try to make it better, don’t let the mental editor provide comment of any kind. Just write.
Arrange a quiet time to brainstorm and build on the idea. Dreams and ideas are fuzzy on purpose. It’s as if the Muse is a seed-planter and you have to provide the sun and water to make it grow into something useful. You need the fertile soil of an empty relaxed mind to grow those dream seeds. I like meditation, gardening, the shower, boring brainless chores and even ironing to give the brain the freedom to wander and explore. Just makes sure you have that notebook handy.
Write it Down Now! Don’t wait until later. Dreams are not a procrastinator’s friend. If you get busy doing something else, you will scare that dream or idea away. It will blow into the wind until some other receptive mind picks it up. If you want it, you have to GRAB IT. Here is another tip too. The more ideas you take action on, the more ideas you will be given.
Review Regularly. It won’t do you any good to write down your brilliant ideas if you never come back to review them. Pick a time and put it on your work calendar. Idea exploration is a very important part of your creative world, whether you create as a business or a hobby. At least once to twice a week, go through your notebook and see what idea you can take action on.
If you hang around enough creative people, you might be tempted to believe that ideas are as plentiful as dandelion seeds, but the truth is, they aren’t. Creatives are blessed with the ability to receive, but not all of us learn how to take the next two steps of Capture and Create. Create a system to capture your inspiration.
Now I want to hear from you. What do you do to make sure you don’t loose your awesome ideas? In the comments, share one tip that you use to capture your dreams!