This week, I was riding in the car with my family and bouncing ideas off them. It’s a great thing to live in the country, because we always have plenty of time in the car, upwards of an hour and a half a day. Conversations happen in the car that wouldn’t happen anywhere else.
I recently received a CAFNR staff enrichment award to start an online class this week, How to Blog a Book (seats still open if you want to be my classmate) with Nina Amir. (Thank you, CAFNR!) I wanted to find a book project idea to use in the class which is where my family came in. During the impromptu road trip brainstorm, they helped me narrow my focus from 99 ideas to one.
This is my process for growing a tiny, wild idea into something more substantial. If you have a little seed of a dream, follow these steps to water it into fruition!
Breathe, pray and bring yourself back to your body
When I’m spending time in the mental world of ideas and possibilities, it helps to take a deep breath, settle into myself and spend some time in prayer. Not every idea is a good one! Checking in is the first step to see if I should weed the idea out, or move on.
Talk about it with my trusted people
The next step is to visit with the people I love and find out what they think. They know me and what I’m capable of. Again, some ideas are better left as ideas only (like, giving our pony free rein to run our household). When they get excited about something I’m thinking about, then I know it’s a green light. Having support at the early stage of a project keeps me steady and accountable.
Avoid the smashers
You know the ones who say no, call things stupid and come up with a list of 100 reasons why your project is bad? Stay away from them. They will poison an idea before it’s strong enough to take any negativity.
Get on the internet
Whatever I might consider, I can find something similar online. It pays to do some research and see what others are doing. My project might be different, but I can still find comparisons. For example, is there a market for crocheted chicken hats? How about crocheted hats for chickens?
If I don’t already know what I need to for my project to be successful, it’s time to hit the books. The library, the internet, people you know and local educational centers can help fill in the gaps.
Get clear on my purpose
Why am I pursuing the project? Is it a calling—or a pastime? Is it worthy? Am I doing it for my self-growth? For the good of the world? For entertainment? For making money to put bananas on the table? To create a happy home for ponies?? A clear purpose is the cornerstone for all the later work that needs to be done.
Control my doubts
When doubts start to drizzle on my enthusiasm for a new project, it helps to go back to my earlier steps: praying, talking to my trusted people and getting clear on my purpose. This area—controlling my doubts—is my biggest challenge!
Go for it!
Now is the time for action. Our ideas only become real through us!
(PS—It was a fun and productive car ride. I am looking forward to telling you more about my blog-to-book project as it unfolds this summer!)
Lord, thank for the generous people who support
our ideas and believe in us when we are unsure.
Open our eyes to encourage those who are scared
to take the first step.
Tell me your thoughts!
What is a new project that you’re thinking about? Or that you’ve already started? How do you go from idea to reality?