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Play Before You Work

I heard Dr. Gordon Neufeld talk about the importance of play in childhood development. He said the difference between work and play is simple:

Work is about enjoying the end result.
Play is about enjoying the activity itself.

When an artist plays with an idea, he looks at it from every angle, not to get it done, but from sheer enjoyment. He explores all of its possibilities like a child playing in a sandbox. And through play, the artist develops her idea into something masterful.

When an artist merely works on an idea, she stifles the creative process in a rush to the finish line.

The artists responsibility is to take play very seriously.

I have played with an idea in my mind for the last 5 years. It is a short film –sweet, touching, funny– awkward boy meets beautiful girl… I have watched this movie in my mind’s eye about a hundred times. And now I feel ready to work!

You have to eat a mango when it’s ripe. A day too early and the meat is tough. A day too late and its all mushy. It’s like that with ideas too. If you try to make it happen too fast, it doesn’t have a chance to ripen. If you play with an idea for too long, it goes rotten.

Do you have an idea kicking around in your head? My advice to you is play, play play… and then work, work work!

Click here to learn more about the film!

Making Ideas Happen

As a creative type, I come up with ideas that die on the sidelines of my mind almost daily. I stumbled upon a video recently that blew me away in terms of what it must have taken to turn the initial idea into a reality. Click here to check out this UBC Lipdub video.

I have four great passions in life: Writing, Acting, Rapping and Speaking. From time to time I will come up with an idea for one of these passions- something I think would be really neat. And I take that idea, and I tuck it away on a shelf in my mind. And there it stays undeveloped like a forgotten roll of film.

I have the best intentions. I have the worst execution. So I am reading a book called Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. Click here to check it out.

Here’s what I’m learning:

– The idea is easy. The execution is hard.
– The idea is cheap. The execution is gold.
– The idea will die on its own. The execution requires action, leadership and community.

For those of you who turn your ideas into projects… how do you do it?