Saturday, July 25, 2009

How to pick an idea.

Do you ever feel like you have so many ideas swimming around in your head, that you don't know which one to go with?
This plagues me, most of my time. Aside from having a gazillion artistic interests I want to follow through with, there's always a part of me saying "hey, your a musician too, remember?! That rock opera isn't going to write itself."
Sometimes I feel like this holds me back from doing anything at all because I want to do it all. At the same exact time. Yet I just can't seem to grow those extra arms I could use.
How does a person satisfy so many interests with also finding time to exercise, wash their dishes, and make non microwave food?
I was wondering how other folks deal with this.

6 comments:

Bob Flynn said...

Yes.

While I think keeping a pool of ideas and interests is good—it can be equally distracting. For the longest time I was jumping between animation and comics...weighing the two in my head—in terms of which one I wanted to put more energy into.

Back in May the scales tipped towards comics, and my productivity has increased dramatically. But also because I've set some pretty specific goals: to get a bunch of comics made up so that I can attend festivals this coming year.

If you don't set goals or deadlines for yourself, its easy to hop from one idea to the next without completing anything.

I think you're being too hard on yourself, Allie. You get a lot of things done. You're one of the most productive peeps I know.

I also genuinely believe that if you really want to do something, it gets done. Sometimes we come up with ideas that sound cool at first (and in theory), but if you don't jump on it when you have free time...you're probably not as excited about it as you think you are. Plus, you need a ton of energy to keep going when you start something.

John L said...

Yes, this happens to me too! I have several projects going on, that I have been trying to finish for months. Sometimes it seems like they will never get done. And that doesn't even count the ideas I haven't started yet, which I can't start until I finish my current projects.

I read somewhere that you should write down everything you do in a day, and how much time you spend on each thing. Then decide "is this more important that fulfilling my dream project?" Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.

Also it helps to have a good work area, where you can focus, away from distractions. A good hour without distractions is worth 4 hours with them. Then pick one project to focus on, and don't worry about the others, their time will come.

Toby A. said...

One suggestion I have, Allie is to actually schedule time each week for each activity. Doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Tuesday night, for example, for a half hour or an hour, you’re going to set aside time to pursue one of your interests. You could even designate a specific time, say 8 PM. Do that for each interest. Then, when you think of something during the week, you can jot it down and know that you’ll be able to play with that idea on Tuesday, or Thursday, or whenever. Over time, I think it will give you a sense you’re spending time on each of your interests. What do you think?

Allie said...

These are good thoughts, thanks :)
It's really the cleaning the apartment thing that's most flustering. My place is perpetually a bit of a dump, because I value time to make art above being able to see my floor.
Deadlines are a good way to go. But then you fall into the whole thing about what if you dont have the motivation to work on something when you've set aside time for yourself to do something. What if the time you've set aside to storyboard something, your having a 'my drawing stinks today' day.
Those are crumby!
I had scheduled to work on my rock opera graphic novel this weekend- but... the weathers going to be great tommorrow... so a surfing oppurtunity arose. And you can't really pass on the kind of thing if it's something you love to do.
Maybe I just love too many things.
Oy vey.
You know lifes ok when you're flustered about not being able to decide which fun awesome idea to go with...

Bob Flynn said...

The to things you mention, not feeling like drawing and wanting to go outside because the weather is nice is actually why setting deadlines are one way to get things done. I don't mean that in a negative way (playing outside is great!), but you can always find an excuse for not working on something if you look hard enough. If you don't set time aside, there are plenty of other things you can do to fill up your day.

But I think you're all set, Allie. It just depends if you want to focus your efforts on ONE THING and get it done.

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