I recently listened to a Central University of New York (CUNY) podcast highlighting the work of Alan Furst.
Furst, speaking and reading from his most recent New York Times Best-Seller, “The Spies of Warsaw,” at the Best-Selling Author Series at Kingsborough Community College.
The interview and reading was interesting and what struck me was Alan’s process for writing. As I listened I thought how simple his method was. It could be adapted to any creative endeavor, in the arts or in business.
So, here’s my take on Alan Furst’s writing process adapted for idea generation.
Day 1: generate “x” number of ideas. The “x” number is important. Set a value, it doesn’t have to be high. It’s more about the process and having an objective.
Day 2: a quick review of Day 1′s ideas. Tweak them, expand them, reject some if necessary. Repeat Day 1 idea generation,
Day 3: final review of Day 1′s ideas. This is not about perfection. It’s about actionable. Ask – “what is acceptable and what can I action – now”. Repeat Day 2, Repeat Day 1.
Day 4: if you’re generating ideas for business or products action your first ideas. If you’re writing or painting you’re now done with your work from Day 1. Repeat Day 3, Repeat Day 2, Repeat Day 1.
And so on.
The power of this process is that there are steps for creativity (Day 1), steps for review and refinement (Days 2 and 3), and steps for action (Day 4 and beyond). It’s not about finding perfection it’s about keeping the momentum and continuous practice.
Go have a go.