The (Broken) Idea Machine

You might as well know it. I’m stuck. Yep, the coach is stuck. Actually, I wouldn’t trust a coach who has never been stuck, frustrated, and angry. Just like I wouldn’t trust a creativity coach who has never worked on, struggled with, and solved creative problems. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried hard enough. If you haven’t screwed up, you haven’t risked enough.

Forest. . .

So, what’s my problem? I’m not sure. I think it was too much forest-gazing and not enough tree focus. In other words, I’m swamped by ideas about the book, which is keeping me from writing.

Here’s how I am working on getting out of my own way. I went to the studio, grabbed a pack of index cards, and wrote one idea per card. The outline of the book is complete and approved, so it’s not the structure of the book, it’s thinking of related classes, activities, marketing ideas, and specific examples for the book.

For as long as I had ideas, each one got scribbled on a card and thrown over my

. . . tree

back. That way I couldn’t be panicked by the variety of unruly ideas, and could clear them from my head.

After about an hour, I turned around and saw the index cards all over the studio–on the floor, on the shelves, on the stack of books. I did not read them. I picked them up, without sorting them, and tied them with a pretty ribbon. They are safe until I am ready for them.

Now I have to get busy writing with a clear mind.

-Quinn McDonald can drive herself crazy with or without permission. When a client calls in an state of overwhelment (I know, but it should be a word), she can draw the map, which is a good thing, although it rarely feels that way.