Where do ideas come from?
Often they're from the goo. That jumbled morass of unfinished unarticulated thought that lies in a heap somewhere in the subconscious. Sometimes ideas find us in our sleep, but most of these go unremembered. Other times ideas get so close they could pinch us but choose to lurk in the shadows, just out of sight. Once in awhile they catch us totally off guard and pop into our minds with a bang! When we least expect them. When we're not even trying.
Some ideas seem to have an attitude and show up cloaked in mystery, unwilling to reveal their secrets. Like solving a riddle, they make us jump through hoops. It’s like they want to trick us. Yet more often than not ideas are smack dab right in front of our faces and we refuse to accept that fact and move right on by them like we're playing some weird version of a Where is Waldo game. “No that can’t be you, I know the better idea is around here somewhere. I’ll just keep looking, thanks.”
Brainstorming an idea session with my friend and co-worker Cindy Slettevold.
No matter how they show up I love brainstorming. It’s like making music. It’s play because you can’t do it by yourself. Like freeform jazz or chance music, it’s unpredictable. I’m so blessed to have people in my life that love to play the brainstorm game. It’s a talent, a craft, an art form, a gift.
Brainstorming at its best happens when we leave our egos and judgement at the door. Like any creative process, shut the editor off until you’re done. You can’t create and edit at the same time. Trust is a must, that means everyone in the room including yourself. Be vulnerable, listen, and don’t overthink, just contribute. Remember, there’s no such thing as a bad idea. Most of the great ones were born there.
In music we have a saying...
So play! You'll find it along the way.
Brainstorming an idea session with my friend and co-worker Barbie Van Horn.
I love these collaborations and live for the points and perspectives others will bring that would never come from my little box if left alone. What a gift it is to show up and throw them into the room, to my fellow brainstormers. Let the dance begin!
All of a sudden that goo I mentioned earlier, that unarticulated unfinished blob of thought lying dormant in the dusty bin yards of your mind has a great big ol’ spotlight shining on it.