24 September 2017

Fantastic Ideas and Where to Find Them

pink planner flatlay

Today I met a man who's friend had invented the doorstops we used at work. That sounds very boring and simple but it got me thinking- literally anyone could have had that idea. The guy simply used his annoyance at a problem, had an idea that he might have forgotten had he not written it down and actually used his motivation to transform this idea into a real thing.

Have you ever watched Joy with Jennifer Lawrence? (it's an okay movie, inspiring and I'm a fan of her so theres that) It's a true story about a woman who invents the self-wringing 'miracle mop' and her climb from laborious single mother to millionaire. While not everyone's motivation is money, again this is a simple idea that anyone could have thought of, in this case she thought off it when she cut her hands up wringing a mop that had broken glass in. Again, Joy wrote down her idea and made it a reality.

I feel like most of us have had an idea in passing then discovered that someone has either a) already done it or b) did it around the same time / just after you thought of it- but you can't do anything about it because you didn't vocalise it.

In the UK it's actually not illegal or breaching copyright to use someone's idea, so the idea you had for a blog post, or a book, even if you pitched it, can be used by someone else without much ground for a fight (why I don't share every sketchbook page ever haha) The key really is to just DO the thing.

I love to think of ideas like clouds... they pass over you, you take them in and you can either take the picture, capturing it or let it travel on past. The cloud will then pass over someone else, and they are given the exact same opportunity. Think of ideas as physical things that pass from one person to another. If you don't catch that idea and write it down, someone else will!

So the key to finding and keeping ideas is to catch them in the act. Carry a little notepad around with you, or a note in your phone ready for these clouds of inspiration.

Use the things that annoy you (think of the unspillable wine glass, am I right) and figure out a solution.

Ideas aren't always epiphanies, they like to camouflage with your regular thoughts. With time you will get better at distinguishing the two; I'm still learning!

At the moment, one of my jobs is as a waitress. I wake up at 5:30am some mornings and use my food order pad as an ideas pad, stuffing the notes in my bra as the shift goes on. At the bottom of my bag is always a pile of crumpled up notes, some which I pull out later and use, develop on and some that eventually end up as wrinkly little chewing gum wrappers which are arguably useful either way.

You have nothing to lose from writing them down.

It's not 'sods law' when you think of something and someone else does it after you- you just need to be that person! Be the one who runs with an idea. Stew on it if you have to, but don't let the universe take it from you, you were lucky to stumble upon it.

If it's inspiration that you need then think about your best projects so far, what mindset were you in when you created them? How did you get there? Maybe explore new territory- new crafts, movies, blogs, towns, cities and cultures. Remember that inspiration doesn't always have to be big and colourful, it can be in the tiny details that you often and easily pass, like the patterned tiles in a bathroom stall, or the quiet conversations in your local coffee shop.

Stay open minded and ideas will come to you. No idea is a bad idea (unless it might get you killed, uhh) and there's really no harm in making a note. And hey, even if you don't act on an idea, at least you can say you thought of it first!


p.s the awesome luxury planner in the first picture is from Rooi. It's HUUUGE and I LOVE IT. Expect to see some organisation posts with it soon.

Have you ever had a genius idea that you discovered someone did already? Where do you get your best ideas? Mine are in bed and in the shower haha.

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