A love affair starts with an instigating tickle. It then erupts into burning passion, giving you a brief window in which to convert that initial inflow of emotional investment capital into long term personal affection.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But if you don’t work on cultivating a deep affiliation while you’re still high on each other, there will be nothing left when infatuation burns out.
There is something similar about having ideas. I often get ideas and I can get excited about them to the point that they take over my mind. My standard strategy is to let the thought run to completion, then add it to my list of ideas to have anxiety over not working on. Once shelved, they never look quite as sexy again.
Going back to an idea that climaxed on that first, sweet encounter is like cleaning the day after a party. Everything is messy and sticky and the beer doesn’t smell nice any more. The fun stuff is all over and only work is left.
When I’ve managed to produce posts here it’s often been the result of a frantic spurt—when I have, for once, been able to bring myself to write that train of thought out before it ended and sealed itself up. I did that with this post. I haven’t been super-productive today, so I thought “I shouldn’t take time to write that thought down right now, I can do it tomorrow”. Stopping to realize what I’d just thought, I decided to write it anyway. Otherwise it may never have existed.
I’ll try a different strategy from now on. When I get a new idea and aren’t in a position to work on it right away, I’ll avoid going through it in my head and thereby blow all of our precious honeymoon on idle wanking.
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4 thoughts on “Idea Infatuation”
Imagine how many ideas never were because people have 9-to-5 jobs, or errands to run, or kids to raise.
Sure, I’ve realized I could achieve perfect balance in life between time for myself, with my spouse, and with my children – if I didn’t have to, you know, work.
Re: the commments
Ah, the old Marxist line about the power of man unshackled from creating excess… 😉
Though there is something interesting about lost creative capital which is basically exchanged for ‘productive’ capital of mundane, fungible labor.
Re: the post, though, I know what you mean! There’s a sort of manic energy to creation, co-constitutive of the manic, mulling, background process, — a sort of disappointment only compounded by the intrinsic imperfection of language (the Lack!).
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Very thouughtful blog