What does it feel like to have an idea?

The cliche is it's "like a light bulb going on in your head."

In 'A Smile In The Mind', David Stuart describes feeling an "absence", before the arrival of an idea.

For me, it's like a form of electric shock in my brain and (for some reason) my arms and occasionally chest. That sounds dramatic, but sometimes it's very mild. The severity of the shock seems to correspond to how 'big' the idea is.

Whatever it's like for you, you always know when you've had one.

And in an ideal world, you would never present anything that didn't result from one of these light-bulb or brain-storm moments.

But this isn't an ideal world. Time is a problem - you often have to present something "in two days" rather than when you've had a great idea. It could be a crap brief, or a brief you just don't click with... on some briefs, you may never have an idea.

So you may end up presenting several 'ideas', none of which actually have an idea in them.

Oh well. Needs must. And you've got to have something, so that something can be discussed in the meeting.

That's okay. As long as you're honest with yourself.

If you haven't had that feeling, you haven't had an idea. And in my opinion, it's worth working on until you do, rather than spending time polishing an idea-less idea that if it gets made could very well end up being a... well, a you know what.

P.S. the tendency seems to be for people to have lots and lots of ideas at the beginning of their careers, and fewer and fewer as the years go on; the compensation for this decline is that more of your later-years ideas will be 'right'. Does this chime with your experience?

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