Dr Seuss says.....

Have any idea how to generate an idea?

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

Yeah, the thinks you can think up.

I haven’t thought about Dr. Seuss in a while. I think it’s time to go back and really give him some cred. We ALL work in the world of ideas. Ideas are what gets us that all so coveted cred of our own. They keep us is biscuits and gravy and when they’re good enough our egos are also well fed and watered. Dr Seuss knew that for sure.

It doesn’t matter if you are in the arts industry or not. You could be an accountant for f**k sakes. We all still have to generate ideas so regardless of what you do this relates to you and you know it. So, does the Doctor have it right? Is it just about trying? Is it just that simple? It must be.

Go ahead, give it a go.

I will wait (cue music from Jeopardy). C’mon. Are you thinking (I can smell something burning). Yeah, it’s not that easy under pressure. Ideas are aplenty when there’s no pressure, right? Let your mind wander and blammo! There’s one, there’s another one and another.

It’s easy when you are relaxed, huh?

Yeah but we all live in a pressure filled world, don’t we? I seem to acknowledge that a whole lot and frankly it is getting a little BORING. Like you don’t know that you have deadlines, mouths to feed, vacations to take, car payments to make, mortgages to pay, keep the groceries at bay and beer to swig (grin). Sam I am. Ok, ok, I’ll stop.

So, whattya do when you need those ideas?

Staring at a blank sheet of paper this morning I asked myself the same question.

White sheet, cursor blinking….blinking….blinking.


I’m waiting.

Ok. So maybe we all need to read Austin Kleon’s new book Steal Like an Artist. No, I am not promoting the guy’s book (it’s kind cool though) but that’s just one way I get ideas. STEAL THEM! Kidding! But not really. Is it not really, really hard to come up with something truly original? Sure, it’s virtually impossible. Take this crap I’m writing as an example. I used and abused Dr. Seuss and dragged Austin Kleon down along with the Doctor. What do you get? You get a blog post about how hard it is to generate ideas.

FANTASTIC……for you.

Alright. Alright. I KNOW I still haven’t said anything relevant yet.

But that’s how I do it. No real rocket science there but that’s my MO isn’t it. Mr. Stating the Obvious has struck again. I am thinking about a super hero suit (with a cape – it wouldn’t be super hero without the cape) with an STO shield on the front all in sequins so that I ACTUALLY attract some attention. I am not much of a colour guy so options from YOU would be appreciated. Should it be gold sequins, blue and gold maybe or red or maybe orange and green?

Options please.

So, instead of all that maybe a way to generate ideas would be to read some shit. Look at some magazines. Read other blogs. Look for quotes from your favourite authors, doodle, talk to someone and write that shit down. WRITE IT DOWN! It doesn’t matter if it’s any good right now. Just get it down. Maybe try not to judge it right away. Let it sit for a bit. You can always chuck it later. There you go. You now have an inventory of crap you can turn into something. So what if some of it is actually crap? It’s more than what you had yesterday which is exactly, precisely and unequivocally NADA!

Hey guys, I am no authority on generating ideas.

I started writing, as a hobby and in earnest, less than a year ago and I think my many years in the design industry helps me understand that ideas are tough to come by, especially good ones. The world is a fickle place and anything we can do to navigate it easier is such a good thing.

What if it’s really crap thought?

Not everything we come up with is always good and feedback is the best way to get better. Shows like Project Runway have built their platform on that premise. Have NO FEAR my friends. Get it out there and EXPECT some criticism. Yes it hurts sometimes but it’s good for you. It will make you stronger and it will make you better. You WILL see things clearer. Much, much clearer.

If not, then go away and keep it to yourself.

 I know you can’t.

  • How do you get your ideas?
  • How do you record your ideas?
  • Why are you just staring at this sentence?

About rdopping

interior design guy who loves other stuff; social media, photography, film, food and anything that is good for the growth of the self


6 thoughts on “Have any idea how to generate an idea?

  1. Sometimes I look at Dr. Seuss’s political cartoons and find ideas there. When it comes to writing I never feel like I run out of ideas but sometimes I lose faith in the validity and veracity of what I come up with.

    Posted by TheJackB | March 1, 2012, 04:02
    • Me too man. That’s why I have to write the stuff down even if it sucks later. At least I gave it a shot and I can look at it later with a keen eye. I really beleive criticsm (hopefully constructive) is the best way to get better. It’s tough in the on-line world to get people to respond at best let alone critique your work. Even when I go back a reread some of my stuff it sometimes makes me cring but in reality it does help me get better. Who knows. With or without the feedback I will keep trying. Thanks a bunch for your comments.

      Posted by rdopping | March 9, 2012, 13:24
  2. I get ideas by having a lot of very different interests — from collecting antique textiles to listening to Nina Simone to reading in a variety of genres, traveling as often as humanly possible, looking at art, cooking, taking pix of everything that touches me. I write for a living so without ideas I am broke and out of work. I find ideas everywhere, often, literally, right in front of me…I recently had hip surgery and have (so far) sold five stories about it. If you know how to re-purpose and market effectively, almost anything has potential.

    Posted by broadsideblog | April 13, 2012, 09:36
    • Caitlin, thanks again. There’s that “repurpose” again. It seems to be a common theme among bloggers these days and why not?

      I read a quote somewhere that went something like this: “There are no original ideas. There are only original people.” Original people share their stories in a variety of ways. That’s what makes them interesting.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Posted by rdopping | April 13, 2012, 14:17


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