Creatives are inundated with ideas. They come to you while you’re sleeping, while you’re cooking, while you’re reading or working or running. While brainstorming or in solitude. Sometimes at such awkward moments you can’t write them down before they float away.

How many of those ideas come to fruition? Probably not many. Some because they weren’t great ideas to begin with but most because we are wary of committing the time it takes to find out.

When you only have so many hours in the day, you are more likely to commit to creative ideas that have the very best likelihood of success, the ones you are sure of. But are they always the best ideas?

Here’s an exercise to help you find out:

  • Make a list of creative ideas. Don’t worry – you don’t have to develop them all!
  • Go away for an hour and come back to it. Read through your list and cross off the ideas that don’t really speak to you now that you are thinking about them again. Shorter list, right?
  • Now read through your list again and circle the ideas that are speaking loudly to you, that are practically yelling “Try me!” Are you absolutely sure they will be successful? If you were, you probably would have tried them already. These are ideas that could lead somewhere, that will energize your work hours, that will definitely teach you something about why things work or don’t work and why you do what you do.

Commit a couple of hours each week to exploring the ideas that speak to you the loudest.

Sometimes loud ideas are better than sure things, but you’ll never know if you don’t commit.

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative
This blog post was inspired by an article at