Do Ideas Come First or Second?

Do Ideas Come First or Second?

Sometimes there are so many ideas, they’re like a bowl of popcorn while watching tv at night, who cares if a few fall between the cushions, plenty to go around!

Other times, ideas are like your underwear drawer when you’ve forgotten to do the laundry. Uh oh!

When there are lots of ideas to go around, and you are acting on some of these ideas, then you can take ideas for granted. A dime a dozen. What a wonderful state of affairs. But just like a bowl of popcorn is easily consumed, ideas can suddenly be in short supply. You can find yourself digging through the couch cushions and looking hard at that stale kernel, wondering if something can be made from it.

I feel like I am in that state and I am wondering what happened? Where did all the ideas go?

I know exactly what happened! I stopped drawing.

I haven’t made an abstract since before Thanksgiving. Sure, I diddled around a bit in my little book and that kept things from a taking a radical turn, but I haven’t committed to a drawing in more than a week and now I have no ideas.

So, here’s my thesis, ideas are the result of actions. We tend to think it’s the opposite, that ideas come first, and actions follow, like, I have an idea to make cake. Now I am eating cake. How cool!

But that’s not really an idea, it’s an impulse. Doesn’t matter, ideas and impulses are almost the same and good ideas need a lot of impulse embedded in them. That’s why we have all sorts of grand ideas that never manifest. It doesn’t matter how cool your space colony concept is, you’ll never in a million years have enough impulse. Elon Musk might have enough impulse but who cares, back to cake.

While you’re mixing the batter, you may have an idea about adding crushed pistachios (that sounds good!) or adding green food coloring to the pistachio frosting, or maybe shaping the whole thing like a frog. Ideas need a portal to come through, that portal is the thing already happening. If you want ideas, start doing the thing.

The main reason I draw so often is because I want to keep my channel open. I want to have lots of ideas. I am greedy and I like to find lost ideas tucked into the couch. That happened with my last post. I had written the title and first two sentences only, saved it and moved on. I had no memory of doing that, a stray thought that came into my head, probably while doing the dishes, but I quickly captured it because that’s another thing about ideas, they have a very short life span unless you plant them. They waft in on the wind and they will waft out just as quickly unless you write them down, or draw them out, or in some way place them in the world of action.

I have to go draw now.

Extremely Boring and Incredibly Close

Extremely Boring and Incredibly Close

I’ve been unable to leave a comment on several of the WordPress blogs I follow. This is so unfulfilling. After reading a great post that I makes me have feelings, I type up a multi-sentence reply, something demonstrating real comprehension and affinity for your post, press send. Refresh to make certain it’s posted and poof! Vanished into thin air. Stupidly I don’t have the foresight to copy my thoughtful comment, so I write another much shorter generic one and try again. No matter, that’s not sticking either. I have several back and forths with WordPress “help”. They want me to know that my comments are stuck in the purgatory of your WordPress spam folders. Oh gawd! I either have to tell you this or live a comment-less life. I want you to know I am reading you and reacting to your writing, but I do not want to craft a post around this dull as dishwater problem.

Have your ever visited your Comments menu page? I feel like I am asking to open a dresser drawer in your bedroom. It’s so none of my business! You can get there through the menu on the left side of the app.

That opens up a screen that shows you all your comments. At the top of the screen you can see them all (yep, that’s my virtual underwear you are looking at and yes, I feel embarrassed). I have approved all the comments you have left for me! I like them and I want them. Sometimes I will find one in “Pending” and I have to say Yes, go ahead and make that puppy public. That might happen the first time someone comments, but after that WordPress assumes ongoing consent. Different than sex! That needs to be checked every time.

I don’t know why WordPress puts stuff in spam, why WordPress puts me in Spam, but could you go take a peak and see if I am in there? If you find me there, I promise it will be a pleasant surprise.

Thank you! Now back to gripping and talking about art.

You-Can-Do-It-Ness

You-Can-Do-It-Ness

I write for two audiences, you and me.

For you I edit my stuff rigorously. If you’re bothering to come over here and see what’s up, I want you to feel rewarded. So, I try to keep it tight, focused and upbeat. I regularly eliminate meandering paragraphs and I only keep complaints if they are very funny. I wish I could be funnier. I try but funny is a hard thing.

Content wise, I write for myself. I need a lot of encouragement. Not just a mega dose every month, but many little bits and bobs of you-can-do-it-ness throughout the day. I am a never-ending cheerleader for myself. Not to promote myself, but to keep myself going, to be the kind of person other people can stand to be around. So almost all my content comes from this place. A place of internal encouragement. I want to be happy. I want to be a source of happiness. This is me figuring that out.

Making art is one of my top ways to keep myself sane so that’s why I write about it so much. There are so many ways to be creative and I don’t have a universal system. I don’t know if what I do will work for anyone else. But I love thinking about it. Also, I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s nice that my monkey mind will get stuck in this particular eddy because it’s not unpleasant. Way WAY better than thinking about worldwide current events.

My number one all-time best creative practice is keeping a blank notebook and bringing it with me when I go somewhere. I feel like this deserves its own essay so stay tuned! And thank you for being here. It’s very nice to see you!

Sidewalk Face 762


Heads up! I added two new menu categories, Humor and Creative Process. This is an easy way to see some of my better posts if you are new here.