Why You Should Write Down Every Idea You Have
There are many factors associated with the success of a really great idea. Many books have been written about the science behind success. Many people have examined the logic behind why some great ideas fail while others flourish. We try to pinpoint the “eureka” moment for success in order to replicate it, but at the end of the day, it’s all about trial and error.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison
As Writers, especially those of us who publish content every single day, we stockpile our story ideas by the dozens. We constantly add new ideas to our ever-growing collection of drafts and we build upon those ideas in order to continue creating new snack-able stories for readers to enjoy. However, as Writers, we also know that every story we publish doesn’t always end up being a success.
Sometimes the most unexpected pieces garner the highest readership while the ones that we anticipated being a top story actually end up in the gutter. But, this shouldn’t discourage us from publishing all together. After all, we can’t predict the success of every article before it goes public. However, what we can do is take advantage of everything in our abilities to set our writing (and ourselves) up for success.
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” — Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers
As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”...but, what we should really be saying is “perfect practice makes perfect.” If we continue to use the same methodology that produces the same undesired results hundreds of times, then we really shouldn’t be all that shocked at the outcome. It’s already been proven to fail.
Instead, we should do our due diligence in examining the outcomes of past events prior to testing something new — after all, that’s what A/B testing is for. We test different methods to see what works, then we analyze the outcome, learn from our mistakes, and correct them. We strive to improve for the future based on our learnings. And we do this over and over again until we finally get it right.
So, in reality, it may not necessarily be the idea itself that is the failure, but the methodology behind the idea when trying to make it a success. It’s the execution behind it that matters — which is why we shouldn’t completely discard our perceived “bad ideas” too early on in the game. We should discard processes that don’t work.
We should be encouraged to write down every idea that comes to mind even if we think it’s a bad one because you never know what its success might be until you take the necessary steps to develop it. And just remember that what you might think is a bad idea might actually seem completely brilliant to someone else.