Pick a Neglected Idea



Updated November 3, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Creative Doing, by Herbert Lui. 75 practical techniques to unlock creative potential in your work, hobby, or next career. Purchase now for instant, lifetime access to the book.

Instead of shelving an idea, pick an idea you’ve put on a shelf—or simply neglected—and develop it. Write down three ways you can change the idea to make it meet your quality criteria.

In Walk Through Walls, performance artist Marina Abramović writes of an exercise where she gives her students a thousand pieces of white paper. The students write down ideas. They keep the ones they like, and trash the ones they don’t. After three months, Abramović only takes ideas from the trash cans; she calls these the “treasure trove” of the things her students are afraid to do.

Remember, each idea holds potential to be the one that changes your life. If you revisit an idea and have the sense that it’s special, don’t be afraid to commit to it.

Or flip this prompt: Archive an Idea

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