In my index card collection, I have a section called “Someday”.
“Confessions: a priest’s dialogue with a variety of individuals”
It’s my favourite section. The ideas in there are ridiculous. Impractical. Exciting.
“Great Black Men: the qualities and contradictions of Gandhi, Malcolm X, MLK and other icons”
Some ideas I can recall having, and can recreate the context.
“Society of Silence”
Others, I can’t.
“Captions. Pick a picture. Create a narrative.”
Mostly, these fragments (and they are no more than that), are fleeting observations or ideas for projects that would be interesting.
Or themes I would like to devote some attention to.
“Spinning Yarns: a history of stories”
Or titles of books I’d like to write.
“If I died…”
Or websites that could be fascinating.
“Benched: Inside the mind of the reserve, the unpicked and the overlooked”
Or books I’d love to read.
“Legwork – Research for Creatives”
Or companies I’d like to start.
To have, and to execute good ideas, you need to have bad ones. Most of the fragments in the “Someday” section are awful. Embarrassing. Yet, I’m drawn to them. They represent possibility. They represent unchartered waters and unexplored territory. They illustrate how little I have experienced. How little I’ve done. How much more there is to do. How much farther I can expand my capabilities.
But they aren’t just a conduit to good ideas. Yes, they are a part of the process of creation. But they are valuable in their own right. Some of the biggest ideas in history started off as bad ideas. They were met with ridicule. Their creator my not have been the right person to carry them into fruition. But by encouraging them to propagate, the seed sometimes found the right soil.
One of the entries in the “Someday” category is this: “Someday – 1051 ideas that I can do nothing with” (I just added it while I was typing). I don’t know who would read that. I would. James Altucher should write it. It would be entertaining. It would be fun for him, or anyone, to write.
The beauty of the “Someday” category is simple.
There’s no commitment. There’s no pressure to execute on them. The ideas can fester there. They are free to rot and die. Or maybe after being expressed and recorded, the ideas will take hold on my consciousness. Maybe they will expand, evolve, grow into something so important to me that I can’t not act on it.
This has happened to me a couple of times. My upcoming site was tossed into the graveyard. I buried it alive. But it screamed and clawed and wailed until I re-examined it. Until I explored it.
What started off as a non-committal “Someday” became “one day.” And this transformed into “everyday.” It is in my thoughts each and every day.
Just like a near-death experience compels you to live with greater vigor, confining an idea to the “Someday” graveyard can empower and force it to grow to mammoth proportions.
Perhaps attempting to kill an idea is the only way to find how much life it contains.