Turning Ideas Into Action!

lightbulb as butterfly, ideas fly

Ideas Like to Flutter Off

Many of us have tons of ideas. For some, ideas are the lifeblood that flows through our very souls connecting our hopes and dreams. But how do we get these esoteric beauties out of their glittery realms and into the harder world around us?

When we pick up a pencil, like dreams often do before we can give them our wakeful attention, ideas may floof coyly away. What are we to do? The solution is wonderfully and maddeningly easy: Just get started!

But start how? Where? And with what?

Consider the hummingbird. One fine day in spring her tiny self — along with her many wee cohorts — gets a bee in her bonnet and off she zips on a thousands + kilometer odyssey up to her summer haven. That impulse to go — to up and leave — and head somewhere on inspiration alone: that’s you and your ideas!hummingbird sketch, hummingbird flying over landscape

You fly and fly and replenish enough to keep flying. Maybe you don’t know exactly why you’re flying nor where you’re going, but you fly on and on. You keep going until you eventually arrive somewhere. Maybe just because you’re pooped or maybe because you get a right feeling a place; whatever the reason, you stop flying and switch gears.

That’s you with your unexpressed ideas. You’ve flown for miles and miles and now you’re perfectly poised to do what’s next!

And what is next?

Nest building!

This is the crux of the whole thing. To give foundation to ideas you have to build a safe place to nurture them.

The Startgangbanger crow, tough bird, smoking crow

For our hummer this means finding an out of the way space where she can start to build her home, where it won’t be molested by marauding crows, voracious squirrels or vagabond jays. What do you need to support the growth of your ideas?

  • sketch or idea pad
  • (sacred) daily time within your schedule (they say the muses attend to those who keep regular hours)
  • an open mind (no need to self censor in these stages – let it flow!)
  • potential outlets (ideas prefer arriving to places where they can grow)
  • supportive resources

The Process

So now the place is found. Our tiny companion now transitions into nest building mode. She seeks items that will somehow fit and stick together to become something whole. Something that accommodates the goals inherent in the ideas. Which brings us to my favorite part of the whole process! The tipping point that transitions conceptual idea formation into dynamic attainment of the aspirations they’re meant to address.

bird nest in a tree sketch, drawing of bird nest

Not everything sticks at first - or even ever...

This is where you ‘put one foot in front of the other’ and proceed. What I love about this part is this is the phase where false starts, little booboos and other mistakes (mis-takes) can be fairly easily absorbed by the process itself as long as the process continues. That’s the important point here: As long as the process continues!

For many of us after a series of little failures we may give up. That’s not cool. That’s where we abandon our nest because a few clumps of moss didn’t stick right.

What does the hummingbird do? She carries on with her work even though not everything she brings back works. She goes with the law of averages instead.

Let me personalize this. This blog you’re reading is a nest. I build it post by post, sketch by sketch. Not all of my efforts ‘stick’ with every reader. Some fall flat onto the hard ground. But some do stick and eventually because I don’t give up it’s coming together into a cohesive whole. It is inevitable that this will happen. As I keep at it I can not fail.

Here’s the other thing. The eggs all this nest building is for may not hatch. It may be conditions external to my efforts won’t allow it. But that doesn’t mean my nest isn’t perfect! We nest builder have to remember that what we create may not accomplish the goals we sought through our building endeavors. I may compile the posts on this blog into a beautiful book no one wants to buy. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t created a beautiful book!nest on a pedestal, natural history, bird nest sketch

Let’s say the hummingbird’s nest contains unhatchable eggs gets plucked out of the tree by a birder who sends it to a natural history museum that puts it in a glass case where generation after generation of inquisitive human eyes come to witness this miniature piece of beak-built architecture. Maybe one of them gets the idea to create a whole new way of assembling materials based on the experience of seeing this wonderfully adapted work.

The original intention remains unattained but crazy larger accomplishments because of those original efforts is!

That is Storybook Ending C.

Storybook Ending B is: great nest, no hatchlings — second even better nest is built!

Storybook Ending A? C + B.


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