Where do you get your ideas?

Every other Tuesday, I participate in #LetsBlogOff, a challenge set by a group of bloggers, who also double as designers, architects, marketers, writers…  some pretty creative, thoughtful people.  The challenge is open to anyone. All that’s required is writing a blog post on an assigned topic on a given date. (Get the date and the topic by visiting www.letsblogoff.com.)  It’s a great way to practice expressing an opinion through your writing and build relationships with other bloggers.   Even if you simply read the other posts, I promise you’ll learn something and be inspired.

This week’s question is:

Where do you get your ideas ?

I’d like to say my ideas come from within, or something easy and spiritual like that.  On occasion that happens… only after I’ve wrestled myself out of the tortuous whirlwind I put myself through prior to bringing an idea to light.

When I have a project in front of me, I spend hours Googling, reading, digging, collecting all kinds of thoughts, opinions and perspectives. I spend days with way too many ideas swirling around in my head, feeling scattered, wondering why I’m even trying, telling myself everyone else has it all figured it out, how can I possibly come up with something worthwhile?

I’ll keep this process going until I’m dangerously close to deadline…..that’s when I stop the madness and start the going within, spiritual part.  I take a break and sit with all of those ideas swirling around in my head.  I actually shut my laptop down, get outside, go for a walk and find a place to sit.

When I find the perfect spot (it’s amazing how that perfect spot always appears, no matter where I am),

I set my phone’s timer for 20 minutes.  I’ve found it takes at least that long for my heart to stop racing, for the whirlwind to start feeling more breeze-like.  From that place of quiet stillness “within,” my unique perspective starts bubbling up.

While I wish it wasn’t so tortuous, I know there’s nothing wrong with me.  There’s no right or wrong way of coming up with an idea. I also know you can become more comfortable with your process (an unexpected benefit regular blogging brings).  I am hoping one day I can skip the whirlwind part, go right to a bench and have all the ideas and answers I need in less than 20 minutes. I have a feeling that could take awhile…

I can’t wait to read how the other creative pros at #LetsBlogOff come up with their ideas… maybe they’ll have a less tortuous trick or two. Check them out here.

Take care and thanks for stopping by.