Divine Inspiration vs. Shiny Idea Syndrome
How can you tell if your next idea, if the next direction you're being pulled in, is the spark of divine inspiration or shiny idea syndrome?
This was a question I recently started to unravel for myself.
Context: As creatives, I believe our biggest problem isn't shiny object syndrome as much as it's shiny idea syndrome.
If I look back at the pattern of my life I have undergone a seismic shift in my career every 4 years. Yes, I can follow this trend all the way back to my very first "real" job as a grocery store cashier when I was in high school.
I've been a copywriter for about 4 years now and I feel the winds of change, they are a-blowin'.
But is this some innate inability to stick it out? Is it a pathological need to reinvent my work life? Is it better to stay the course, keep trying new things within the context of what's already been created (painstakingly loved into being) over the last 4 years?
Or listen to the whisper?
The whisper is terrifying. And it's thrilling. And it refuses to be silenced. And it lights up my imagination.
But I'm a single parent now. But responsibilities. But bills. But what if it doesn't work? But what if I'm obsessed with the thrill of the beginning and can't stick it out through the growing pains of the middle?
There are a LOT of "buts" that my rational brain throws up.
And yet. . .the next leap feels like an integration of all the growth these years have brought. Of all the writing acumen, the business skills, the latest interests and old nudges that I previously ignored. And integration is ALWAYS good.
In times like these, when you're questioning the direction of your life, when you're questioning your next "big leap" 2 things are essential. 1) a killer playlist 2) getting out of your head
I hope you have both. To satisfy #2 I headed out to a group of fellow entrepreneurs, and creatives in a space I completely trust and asked how THEY knew the difference between divine inspiration and shiny idea syndrome.
Here's some of the love and wisdom I received. Maybe you need these reminders too, on your own creative path.
"I'm a firm believer in "if you don't try you'll never know". Creativity is meant to flow and change and reinvent." #flow
"Reading "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert always makes me feel better about jumping around. It's our belief in society that wants us to stay at something for 50 years and get the gold retirement watch." #nowatchforme
"Follow your heart my friend. Sometimes we grow into our purpose and where we are supposed to be and some pieces are only meant to hold you over until the next level." #truth
"What I've noticed from my journey is that each leap brings me closer to what makes the most sense for me to be doing." #onestepcloser
"Every few months or weeks might be shiny new thing syndrome but years? The essence of creativity is change and development - creation!" #change
"Action brings clarity. . .taking deliberate steps toward the idea brings clarity, either way." #actionisclarity
"Experiment. Play. See if steps in the new direction bear fruit and feel good. If it does, continue down the path. If not, choose differently." #experiment
"Is 4 years about when things are running smoothly? Maybe the majority of kinks worked out?" #askthehardquestions Oooh that was a good question and I'm relieved to see that after reflection this is NOT self-sabotage.
I LOVE my community. I love the confirmation. And while I won't be suddenly disappearing from your inboxes or closing up shop or anything radical like that, I will be taking steps. Listening to the whisper and the wisdom within. Evolution is exciting. And I have no idea what it will look like when it's over.
"Action brings clarity" might just be my new mantra.