How to Stay Focused When You Have too Many Creative Ideas
As a creative, I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of having so many ideas filling your head that you don’t know what to do with yourself.
I know that sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed with possible projects and art I’m desperate to make that I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know which idea to choose first or how to separate everything out in a way that makes sense. And why is it that right when I'm trying to drift off to sleep, my mind goes into overdrive with ideas?
It’s like that old saying about buses - you’ll be waiting forever for one to come, and then they’ll arrive all at once. The same is true of ideas.
These are a few of my favorite ways to make sense of all the inspiring things tumbling around in my mind so that I can actually get to creating!
Get it all out
This might seem like an obvious tip, but start by getting all your ideas out of your head and onto paper (or screen).
One lovely way to do that is to use a bullet journal - these appeal to a lot of artists. I think this is partly because there’s a lot of potential to make them look beautiful, but also because they’re an incredibly useful tool for us visual types.
To learn more about bullet journaling and how you can start making it work in your creative practice, watch this short video.
If you’d prefer to have an app to capture ideas, I’m a big fan of Trello. I use it to stash all of the ideas that pop into my head, and the best part is that I have it on my phone, so I can update on the go.
Keeping organized makes a huge difference so find what works for you!
Feel how you feel
Make a note of how you feel about all these ideas. If something really excites you, run with it. If there’s something that you keep putting off, take it off your list.
This thinking should be applied to your completed projects too. Once you’ve played around with an idea, think about your process. Did you enjoy it? Did you find it frustrating?
For me, the best ideas are the ones I keep thinking about...the ones that really get me excited.
Pick a focus
One of the drawbacks (if there are any, really) of being a mixed media artist is that you want to play with all of the techniques and all of the supplies - but that is not a time or cost effective way to create, particularly if you want to transform your creative practice from hobby to business.
At the start of each month, pick a focus. This could be a theme, or a particular technique or even a specific color palette. Use that focus to select the ideas you’re going to try first.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you could or should be creating, hide your list away for a while. Set a timer for an hour (or however long you can spare) and just go play. Choose your materials based purely on instinct. Don’t listen to any negative self-talk, just go wherever the inspiration takes you.
These tips will help you figure out how to navigate all of the amazing ideas that come your way, but that’s not the most crucial thing. It’s more about putting energy into the things that you love, the things that light you up, and not staring at the things you feel you “should” be working on.
Have a blessed day,