The Best Reason To Act On Your Ideas

Old Roadhouse

For the past couple weeks, I’ve had an idea for a blog post knocking around in my head and notes for it jotted on various scraps of paper. I’ve been thinking about writing about minimalism and how it’s good for creativity. I may have thought about this one for too long, because today in various social media feeds, I saw three different bloggers have beaten me to the finish and have published posts about creativity and minimalism.

The moral of this story? When you have an idea, take action on the fucking thing!

A creative sin I commit too regularly is not stopping for a photo when I’m driving. I think, oh, I’ll get to that later/next time/on my way home/when the light is better/when I’m not so tired. Maybe I’ve become complacent since I live in the most beautiful place I can imagine and even my drive to work is breathtaking. Or maybe I’ve been making excuses a lot lately.

At that moment in time I am too lazy to get out of the car and pick up the camera. Or to place myself in the chair at my computer and write.

Inspiration is a myth and someday never comes. When an idea strikes, our obligation as creative people is to act on it, or at the very least write it down. Or get out of the car and take the photo, as the case may be.

Some ideas have a use by date. Elizabeth Gilbert writes about this in her fantastic book Big Magic. If you don’t put the effort into an idea, it will go off and find someone else who will. Believe me, seeing your idea pop up fully developed as a link from someone else’s Tweet will piss you off.  Even more so if you read the article and find that the other writer did a great job.

Making excuses is not making art. It may be creative, but at no point will excuses get the image on the memory card or the story on the page. There is no substitute for doing.

Don’t wait. Ideas don’t hang around. If it’s a thought in your head, someone else could think it as well. Do your work, be creative, and don’t let those ideas get away!

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