The Interruption of Ideas – Have you tried turning it off and on again?

I’m a ranter. I very rarely get writer’s block. My main issue when it comes to writing is trying to weigh up when I’m writing good content and when I’m writing bullshit. Unfortunately, what I do struggle with is something I’m calling “The Interruption of Ideas.” It is simply the inability to come up with any new, exciting ideas with regard to either an already existing or fresh business plan. 

Sometimes, when I’m telling myself it is absolutely vital to be productive, I almost try and force myself to improve or extend an idea I’ve had in the past. Forcing myself into this mindset almost never works, and leaves me in a frustrated and stubborn mood which is tough to escape. This wall that I hit is difficult for me to deal with. When I get to this point, I struggle to come up with other ways to beat it, adding to my frustration.

It comes to mind that, presumably, this sort of thing happens in every profession. A lack of ideas is not a unique issue, and for those trying to meld a creative passion with their own academic ability, it can often be the most difficult issue to overcome, regardless of what you are creating. This is because the joining of academia and creativity takes two near opposite disciplines and shoves them in a melting pot. My academic side is stubborn, literal and logical, whereas my creativity can often be impulsive, overenthusiastic and unrealistic. Together, these should work well, but when one takes over, you end up with a metaphorical pile of shit.

Let me give you an example. When the creativity overwhelms the logic, the ideas never stop. However, these ideas which seem incredible and life changing, tend to be completely outside the realms of possibility and end up either wasting far too much of my time or crashing and burning very quickly. Let’s be honest, no-one enjoys seeing their ideas crash and burn and so I’d much rather find the balance.

“Sometimes we crash and burn. It’s better to do it in private.”

Dean Kamen

The Interruption of Ideas comes when the logic really overtakes your brain. Every little idea that pops into your head gets immediately shut down due to an overwhelming reliance on the literal world. Every idea that you’ve had in the past also begins to seem impossible to achieve, and you get into the worst mindset possible. It’s more worthwhile to stop thinking, turn your mind off for an hour, and get back to it.

So, for anyone who ever struggles with this lack of ideas, whether it’s at university, in business or in any project you do, I have two options for you:

  1.  Try your best to switch off for an hour. This can be through mindfulness, having a short nap or going for a walk. Don’t watch TV, don’t play video games and don’t scroll aimlessly through social media. 
  2. Do something that truly inspires you. Maybe it’s a book or writing something, I don’t know, but do it, and the ideas will come.

The most important thing to do is be self-aware with this issue. Recognise it, and then take steps to beat it. The rest will follow on beautifully.

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