A few weeks ago I read a blog by Seth Godin where he said he was completely out of ideas. After 16 years of blogging and over 8000 original posts, he had finally gone dry. The barrel was empty.
This struck a cord with me. I was only 170 posts in and I was starting to feel like I was running low on ideas. All the deep insights I had seemed to been used. Sometimes it felt like I was just rewording old ideas.
Maybe I only had around 150 ideas and they had been spent?
It was only later, in a follow up blog, that Seth revealed it had been an April fools joke:
And today, give or take, is the sixteenth anniversary of this blog. Not quite on April Fool’s Day a bunch of years ago, but close enough. I feel badly that so many people were fooled by this morning’s post, and I’m grateful to those that wrote in with concern. But no, I was making a point, not telling the truth. It turns out that showing up is a great way to find new ideas, and I have no plans on stopping.
Despite knowing that it was light prank, it has played on my mind quite often. There are some nights that I just sit at the computer screen, not knowing where to start. And others where I’ll write a post, only to realize I wrote a similar one a few months before.
This was again brought to my attention today when a comment on my blog today said that it appeared I may be getting bored.
I thought about this and came to the conclusion that I wasn’t bored. I’ve been really enjoying my blogs over the past while.
Instead, I have run out of ideas. I’ve run out of my well formed ideas.
- The ideas you spend years thinking of.
- The ideas that you carry with you through different stages of your life.
- The ideas that you have convinced yourself are absolutely true.
And now, I’ve started entering unfamiliar territory. A place where I have to conceive new ideas, challenge them and leave them open to scrutiny.
Where they haven’t had years to form. Where they might have gaps. And where I might not fully understand them.
It’s the next phase of my blogging and development. More rapid idea formation and more letting myself go.
I’m not out of ideas.
I’m just learning how to come up with them more quickly.
Image was taken in 2006, and this is a picture of that picture (I can’t find the original). The three brothers are in the picture, with Fabio looking how I feel at the end of the day
Song of the day: Don’t stop me now – Queen