When the TV show, Seinfeld got picked up, Larry David cried. Hard.
Of course, a lot of those tears were joy and relief. But most of the tears came from the pressure of needing to write 22 original episodes. And pronto.
When Seinfeld got renewed for a second season, he cried again. Just as hard. It’s a show about nothing for crying out loud! You want me to come up with another twenty-something episodes!?
I’m no Larry David, but I can sympathize. Most of the time, I have a mental queue of 2-3 episode ideas built up. Sometimes, I don’t.
Last night, I sat down at my computer with intentions of writing Friday’s episode. The baby is coming any day, so I’m trying to be proactive here. I had a couple ideas bouncing around my head, but nothing concrete. Usually, when I’m at this stage, I start playing around with ideas until I have an “ah-ha!” moment, in which one of the ideas clicks.
Well, last night, that moment never came.
I started wondering, “Have I run out of ideas?” Yikes. It’s not like I’ve been doing The Weekly Creative for years. I started thinking that maybe I don’t have what it takes to continue producing episodes. In short, I started questioning everything.
I decided to relax a bit and browse some creative websites for inspiration. I then came across these words of advice from Paul Arden that changed me.
If you hoard your ideas you will end up living off your reserves and eventually become stale. If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish. The more you give away the more comes back to you.
– Paul Arden
I realized that I am in the midst of that beautiful moment. The moment after giving but before receiving.
I realized that the golden idea I’m looking for will come. I just need to trust the process. I need to be aware and receptive to the world placed before me. I can’t control when that idea chooses to reveal itself, but frankly, it is out of my hands.
Let’s just hope that I haven’t actually run out of ideas…
If you haven’t heard from me after a couple weeks, call the FBI. Or the President.