That Was My Idea, Dammit!

Clearly, this is a good idea

It’s a world of ideas. And when the next brilliant one comes out, you’re gonna wonder why you didn’t think of it first. Looking back, you see you were so close. Maybe one neuron firing away from making the connection that would have made every difference in the world.

Did you ever get jealous over someone else’s good idea? As a writer or artist, do you read other blogs, listen to music, view a painting or picture – and try to justify in your own mind how you are better than that artist? Do you get down on yourself after reading really good stuff? I don’t. No, not at all. I’m happy that someone else thought of something that now I’ll never be able to…really happy for them. Really, really happy…ecstatic even.

OK, maybe not. In my mind, there is no great idea that I’m not capable of coming up with. So even though a given novel idea might be good – even benefit humanity – I’m not happy because I feel I should have come up with it.

Even a funny quip at the dinner table. I don’t want to laugh because it was on the tip of my tongue first – wasn’t it? But maybe that is what makes the thoughts and ideas of others so genius. There was a connection that they made between two concepts that MAKES SO MUCH SENSE that only someone with less creativity would think of it. I’m out here in left field making all of these obtuse associations when everything I needed was right there between the pitcher’s mound and home plate.

That’s not fair to the other person that actually came up with the idea, though. I’m so creatively competitive that I find myself justifying my shortcomings. If I can’t think of something first, then I’ll have to assuage my idea ego by explaining why a lessor mind would think of it before my mind. It is logically ridiculous…but it does take the edge off the jealousy.

I get so much credit in my family for being a creative person. I’m not creative, I just think of things so far out of context, with seemingly random associations, that I get the “creative” tag. I don’t know if that is really creativity. I see it as just not putting any obstacles in my brain’s train of thought – just let it go where it wants to go. Who am I to stop it? As soon as I feel myself trying to point my brain or its thinking in a specific direction, it all breaks down.

For example, my wife is running a school fundraiser that includes tricky-tray baskets. The basket names shouldn’t be boring; no, they have to be original, funny or somehow attention-grabbing for obvious reasons. So we invited some neighbors over last Saturday to enjoy some homemade red sangria and brainstorm. Reading through the basket names Sunday morning, it is very clear that many of the names, uh, won’t be appropriate. As we got deeper into the night, it seemed like we were naming porn movies rather than elementary school baskets: “Rise n’ Shine” or “Shake and Bake” (for a personal massage and tanning session), “Feeling Lucky Tonight?” (for a lottery ticket basket), “A Night with 2 Blondes” (for concert tickets to Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks), and more. Needless to say, we changed a few on Sunday.

Out of about 50 baskets, I came up with only two names. I was unable to point my creativity in the direction it needed to go to be relevant. And of course, that bothered me – in spite of the fact that we had a good time and named a lot of great baskets, which will help the children’s fundraiser be more successful.

But none of that matters. It’s really all about me and my creativity!

Actually, the best idea I had all night was that this would make a great adult board game. Milton Bradley, are you listening?



About Yorick von Fortinbras

YvF is a writer, musician that stays sane by being creative while navigating the demands of life, looking for those holes where a spark can get through.
This entry was posted in brain, Creativity, Ideas, Mental problems, Philosophy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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