A secret (or not-so-secret) wish

Within a lot of us creatives lurks a secret (or maybe not-so-secret) wish. We just want to be idea people.

We want to spend time daydreaming until we hit on something we’re excited about, and then do whichever part we feel is most fun—planning it out, or designing how it’ll look, or thinking about all the ways it could be expanded in the future.

We want to go where the excitement and creativity live!

But of course, excitement and creativity only carry you so far when it comes to bringing ideas to life. Eventually, things get messy.

Decisions have to be made, and they’re not as easy or fun as they were in the beginning.

Details have to be managed, and for some of us, doing so doesn’t come naturally.

Launching has to be done in some sense or other, and the thought alone makes some creatives want to run away…fast.

And then there are the fears and the doubts. The in-the-middle-of-the-night thoughts that plague us all at some point. What if everyone hates it? What if no one buys / reads / listens to / watches it? What if this was a waste of time?

No, thanks. We’d rather just hand it off to someone else at the point when things start to get messy. Or, actually, maybe a few steps before it gets to that point. Please and thank you.

And for at least some aspects of bringing creative ideas to life, that’s a reality.

Not great at managing details? Hire a project manager!

Not sure how to launch something effectively? Take a course or hire someone to help!

But there are other parts of bringing creative ideas to life that we have to face eventually (decisions and doubts being two big ones). And that’s what makes us long for the easy, breezy life of the idea person.

I get it. I have, at many times, also longed for the easy breezy. But I’m finding that these days, I have those daydreams a bit less. And that’s because I’ve prepared for the inevitability of getting stuck.

Here’s what I mean.

Those decisions you have to make and those fears you face? Those are two big ways we get stuck. The details you struggle to manage and the knowledge you feel you lack? Two more.

And often, we don’t know what to do to get moving—or don’t even recognize we’re stuck—so we stall out.

As we get mired down over and over, we start to believe we’re not good at bringing creative projects to life. But that’s not true. What we’re not good at is getting unstuck!

Later this week, we’ll talk more about how things can be different.

Until then, I’d love to know parts of bringing creative ideas to life you feel you’re not good at!

My answer: I struggle to stay focused. I tend to get bogged down in all the possibilities, following threads of the idea down rabbit holes and dreaming of what this could be a year from now—not what it needs to be today to get it out the door.

These days when I start down that unproductive path, I allow myself a few minutes to dream big, but then do my best to get back to work, knowing how bad I’ll feel if I don’t.

What about you? You can comment below, or you can join me in conversation on this Instagram post!

With much love,
Erica


P.S. Stay Unstuck: A Guide to Awareness and Action will be ready for you this Friday! It'll help you deal with the messy parts of bringing creative ideas to life, and help banish that desire to be just an idea person. Stay tuned for details!