An idea garden

I read a lovely post today that has made me reconsider my previous post bemoaning my growing list of draft blog posts.

Charlie Gilkey describes his blogging workflow using the gardening metaphor to discuss the tension between incubating ideas and dwelling too upon them long. Essential reading for bloggers and those interested in the process of generating and developing ideas.

The post, Do You Have an Idea Garden? is worth 5 minutes but I will summarise my thoughts too (I may get a bit carried away with the metaphor):

  • Ideas are delicate seeds that need love and attention to grow
  • Create a safe place to plant your seeds (an idea garden)
  • Your idea garden must:
    • Be easy to access for planting (minimal faffing with tech)
    • Keep all ideas in once place to allow for cross pollination
    • Be tended / weeded / pruned regularly

What this looks like and what tools you use is up to you: the principles count.

The metaphor has helped me understand that my rather scruffy weed patch of draft blog posts is in fact an undervalued fertile ground that just needs some gentle tending. Thanks Charlie :-)

Spit it out

Ever find it difficult to strip down what you have to say to the bare minimum? I do. My list of draft blog posts has swelled to around 50. I need to get better at getting them out the door. While they are fresh in my mind. Minimal polishing. Idea> open wordpress> tap the keyboard> hit Publish.  Next.

The danger is that it takes time to refine down ideas:

I didn’t have time to write a short letter so i’ve written a long one instead. ~Mark Twain

So I’ve started using postcards to structure my thoughts (idea pinched from this Richard Kelly talk). The space limitation is a kind of old school version of Twitter’s 140 characters and using a pen rather than keyboard feels good.