The Temperament of Great Creative Ideas
Updated: Jul 15
I used to have a love-hate relationship with great ideas. Great ideas came easy to me, and I always savoured the first moments of our exciting encounter. The excitement lasted very little. Very soon after, I crushed under the pressure of the expectations their greatness imposed upon me. Then I did absolutely nothing about them for a while. I let them dwell in my head, and during their dwelling, at some point they got bored and I begun to experience them as either unimportant or impossible to realise. If they hung around for much longer it would only be to bring back to me feelings similar to the ones I felt about myself as a child: that I was both foolish and a great disappointment. Eventually the ideas would leave me alone and go and find someone else, more willing or capable to make something out of them. Until the next ones came along. And the circle will start again: excitement- apathy- disappointment- self hate.
During one of our first sessions my writing mentor* made me aware of an important factor regarding ideas: They were not meant to be the end point of my writing. They are not a description of the final outcome. They were meant to be the starting point, the motivation, for the first inspired action. After that the writing should be allowed to carry me forward and reveal to me what the final outcome would be. This theory was a revelation to me and I started testing it for proof. Here is what I found out:
First and foremost ideas are full of themselves. They are important and attractive and they know it. They come to us all confident and promising. Their role is to motivate us to create something new. That is why they do their best to be appealing and fascinating to the point that I think they believe it themselves. I think they are made this way so that the whole thing is convincing and does not look fake. Ideas are very clever and wise in the sense that they know exactly what we are capable of and they are very aware of our goals and missions. In other words each idea knows exactly who to target. At the same time they get easily bored and they are very promiscuous. Their ultimate goal is that someone uses them to generate creation and if they see that you are not getting down to business with it, they will very easily abandon you and go and find someone else. Most of them are actually quite impatient which makes them extremely horny, slutty and unforgiving. They like playfulness and change. They will abandon you immediately if you begin to interrogate them to death so that they reveal to you what the final outcome of the project should be ( they would never tell you anyway even if they knew). Also if you get too attached and needy with them and exhibit submissive behaviour, they tend to become very capricious (or disoriented - I am not sure yet which of the two). To cut a long story sort ideas are not fit for long term relationships and they are definitely not good marriage material. My new attitude towards them is to fully enjoy their sluttiness. My new motto has become: Get into bed with a great creative idea, enjoy the one night stand and then elope with the project.
Ideas are fascinating entities. The greater the idea the more fascinating it is. But they are meant to get our juices going so that we can jump into inspired action. Everything that happens after that is a journey to the unknown that we are taking together with our chosen medium for creativity. The idea’s job is done. Any role that it can play in the project from then on is all about the memory of the excitement of that one night stand. It keeps you smiling.
* I am referring to the fascinating writer & performance maker Eirini Kartsaki
Text by Birds WG