We like to make things complicated.
Remember your first story or artistic masterpiece?
You made things complicated.
Big multi-syllabic words, multi-layered plots with more characters than the cups of coffee you drained at 2 AM when the Best Idea Ever nuzzled your brain. Lots of sketch work in non-photo blue, scraped because the design was supposed to be “just so” and currently they were 0.75 mm off the Epicentre Of Perfection.
Roald Dahl, the British author best known for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, wrote down his ideas as questions no longer than a single line. One-liners like “How about a story where a boy finds a golden ticket?” became bestsellers due to Mr. Dahl’s inventive genius and commitment to his projects.
But we know all that.
What most don’t know is that Mr. Dahl didn’t record down all his Best Idea Evers. With a mind that sparks and somersaults, versatile in its depiction of the macabre and humorous and the ordinary and fantastical, the man must have gone through a spectrum of Eureka! moments before most people sat down for lunch.
Roald Dahl did not write down every idea, but the ideas he did write down stuck with him over the years.
“The ones I can’t forget,” he would say.
There is a lot of creative noise in our heads. How do we actively winnow out the bad noise from the good?
We set the pencil down, tuck away the blueprint, and be still.