ericamerylthomas [at] gmail [dot] com

a bad idea every day

Added on by Erica Thomas.

I had coffee with a fellow graduate of my MFA program this morning and we were talking about how to keep the momentum going after the community of our cohort dispersed. We shared some thoughts on projects we are working on and both agreed that we suffer from biting off more than we can chew. Our inclinations to take on months long projects that require self-funding and often become unwieldy and cantankerous. We both recounted times when we had met with an advisor who had suggested we try doing some "smaller" projects sometimes, just as a way of exercising different creative muscles. She admitted that she had started the summer with the idea that she would write down three project ideas every day, but hadn't followed through with it. I've made similar proclamations and they have fizzled out for me too. But I suggested that maybe the problem with these exercises is the idea that we don't want to write down bad ideas. We want to have "good" ideas come forth right off the bat. We agreed this is sometimes the mental block. The concept of the "bad" idea. I'm going to make the bold claim that most good ideas started as bad ideas. Any concept that isn't worked over enough, or thought fully through will remain a bad idea. But many bad ideas are waiting to become great projects once they've been explored, researched, tested, or just workshopped with others. So, I will begin now. Not three (I don't want to get crazy here) but just one. One bad idea. Every day. From now on.