Lately I’ve been trying to do everything myself. Which is partly why I started my podcast. It’s a way for me to learn, from somebody else’s perspective, how creative people can be successful.
My problem is that I think I know how creative people can be successful. I have my set of facts and opinions about the subject. Actually, my problem is that I don’t get bored enough of my own thinking. I tend to fall in love with how wise I think I am, instead of talking to people who know more about what I actually need to know.
What I need to know is something akin to what nearly all my podcast guests have said to me. “Be yourself.” Figuring out what that means requires a kind of thinking that can’t be outsourced. It requires introspection. Outsourcing introspection is like having someone else swallow your food for you.
Creativity isn’t always about “having” ideas. A large chunk of it has to do with getting ideas from other people. This is why there’s a such thing as writing rooms.
Here’s the process I follow to make sure I don’t get caught trying to do everything myself.
- Have an idea.
All the ideas we “have” come from ourselves. This happens when we introspect, meditate, or take a walk to clear our head. It’s the storyboard that came “out of nowhere.”
(Rule of thumb: nothing “inner” or “intro” can be “Out”sourced.)
2. Get an idea.
Getting an idea means thinking in someone else’s brain. You can do this by reaching out to generous people on The World Wide Web. Also known in some circles as The Information Super Highway. Also known as “this thing we still don’t know how to use properly.”
If you get really good at this second step, you’ll look like a genius.
Genius is making it seem like all your ideas are yours.