So I’m getting ready to go to a writing conference next week, and in the process of clearing my schedule, travel preparation, creating two editorial calendars, and meeting scheduled teaching obligations, I have been overwhelmed with new opportunities, and new project ideas. It often happens that when I am very busy and productive, my brain boils over with ideas for new projects. I like to take advantage of the times that my brain explodes with creative project ideas, storing them away like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter.
As a person with ADD/ADHD this is how my brain is most of the time, but some days it is worse. It can be overwhelming and frustrating. It feels like there is a tower of ideas in my head, each thought touching and building off other ideas and thoughts. It is a struggle sometimes to pull out the thoughts and ideas that best move me towards my goals, and not have everything come crashing to a halt because I choose the wrong idea to develop.
I never worry about running out of ideas, but I do worry about sorting out which idea/project/ new venture is best to pursue. After struggling to find a way to decide which ideas to take up, and which to let go, I choose this system. Any idea/project/venture that I choose to develop has to meet all three of these criteria:
- It has to feed me creatively, or financially, preferably both.
- It has to fit with my goals and it has be a step toward achieving an annual or lifetime goal.
- It has to align with my ethics and my values.
You will notice I don’t include that it has to be feasible, practical, or sensible. I have found that if a project meets the criteria listed, than the project becomes achievable, and it is reasonable to commit energy and resources to the project.
If you have a creative idea/project/venture that you are struggling to get started or complete, back up and examine why. Ask yourself: Why this project? Why don’t I want to get started? Why don’t I want to complete the project? Take the time to examine the project using the criteria listed above to evaluate it. Remember, it is perfectly fine to quit a project that does not move you towards your goals; it is okay to quit a project if it is not ethical and does not fit with your value system; and it is more than okay to quit a project that does not feed your body or your soul.