How to Not Stop After One Good Idea

It’s easy to feel satisfied with yourself after a job well done. The project was a hit, your ego’s been lovingly stroked a bit, and you toasted champagne. But how do you deal with the daunting feeling that creeps in a few days after your joyous success? What’s next? 

How will you possibly recreate that sense of achievement again? It is tempting to use the routes that are tried and true. “It worked last time, it’ll work this time too” you try to convince yourself. But, in the back of your mind, a little voice will remind you that you will need to do something different this time around. How many movie sequels have you seen that were legitimately better than their forerunner? A handful, maybe? And those that were able to entertain you were ones that did something different. Starting again from scratch will be hard, yes. But you had a good idea once – don’t sell yourself short by thinking that you will only have one good idea in your entire lifetime.

Brainstorm. Write down everything no matter how crazy, trivial, stupid, or unimportant you may think it is.

You will want to censor yourself. Don’t.

Instead let every idea that comes to you have a space on the page. It is only by digging around and seeking out the new that we escape bad habits of the old.

Surround yourself with other creative people. Those that are thinking at a million-miles-a-minute will inspire you to do the same.

Hold yourself to impossibly high standards and the planning for your next big thing will be a breeze. Go easy on yourself and watch how the road in front of you quickly turns into an insurmountable impasse.

Allow failures to push you forward, not hold you back. Every failure is an opportunity to learn one new way not to do something.

Never stop at that first good idea.  You’ll thank yourself for it.

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34 thoughts on “How to Not Stop After One Good Idea

    • Gah, what a great read. Thank you for the recommendation.

      “You have to feed the monster everything you come across, be it books, music or movies, your friends and enemies and any other shiny baubles you find strewn in your path. You shovel everything you’ve got—a long-handled snow shovel works best—into its big toothy mouth, and it chews everything up and sighs once again. It never says “thank you,” and you don’t expect any gratitude, but once in a while the monster will taste something it really enjoys. When it does, you’ll notice a slight lift of its scaly brow and a narrowing of its keyhole pupils. It doesn’t give away much, but if you know your monster, that’s all you need to see.”

  1. Hey,
    thanks for the words of encouragement. I felt like this post was just for me! Looks like I need to go seek some creative people to hang around. Sadly there are none to be found in my house. 😦

    • Happy to hear it resonated. And you can always look around the blogging community too for creative minds like yourself. I find myself consistently inspired by people who have transformed their little corner of the internet into works of art.

  2. Great advice, as ever! Especially wonderful for me right now, as I’m in the thick of bursting forward with my Celebrity Art Pants project “Pants-4-Art”… overcoming any obstacles in my way and surrounding myself with as many positive folks as possible… Knowing when to walk away from negative people is a key ability to learn, especially if they are supposed friends and family… Many wish well, but are very dangerous dream stealers…!

  3. Very well put. I think that we can all be so hard on ourselves at times and often our egos get in the way, making us forget why we create in the first place. It’s taken me a while to realise that the act of creating is more important than the glory… Success and validation are wonderful, but you’re right – they can also have a negative impact. Another fantastic blog.

  4. If I had a quarter for every time I lost steam after a success……well, I couldn’t retire, but I could by a lot of coffee. I battled with Fear of Success for several years – the possibility of succeeding actually kept me from attempting. And to see that written out…wow, that’s insane! I’ve had little victories that felt BIG…and I spent too much time resting on my laurels, then lost steam. I haven’t achieved the big victory yet – I don’t even know what that might look like. But this blog post is a Keeper – I’ll definitely pass it along to my writers’ group!

    • Thank you so much Elizabeth. It’s hard to come to terms with the idea that we are capable of almost anything. Glad to hear you’re continuing to strive towards that big victory. I’ll be cheering you on all the way.

  5. I loved this post and also the incredible picture. Perfect inspiration and motivation today. This quote, especially, is a keeper:
    “Instead let every idea that comes to you have a space on the page. It is only by digging around and seeking out the new that we escape bad habits of the old.”
    I have many bad habits of ‘the old’ I’m letting loose of, fear being one of the biggest. Thanks for your post!~ emma

  6. I coach basketball as an avocation in addition to all the other stuff that makes my life a mess. But I digress…

    An old coaching maxim:

    “If what you accomplished yesterday still seems big to you today, then you haven’t accomplished much today”

    In other words, don’t be smug about your last accomplishment – get to work on your next.

  7. Thank you for visiting, Bella Bleue today. I’m glad you felt inspired enough to like, my post about laughter! You’re site is beautiful. Congratulations on your award, it’s fitting! Blessings on your journey, Erin, Bella Bleue

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