A fun story: Two copywriters, Seth Werner and Dexter Fedor had landed an grat gig: Creating an ad campaign to persuade the public to buy California raisins. They brainstormed together and came up with a bucketful of ideas for the promotional campaign they’d beenhired to design, but nothing clicked. They didn’t seem to be getting anywhere and frustration set in. Hoping to pry an idea or two lose, they they changed their work environment and went over to a friend’s house to work.
While they were there, Werner mockingly proposed having the raisins “do something stupid like singing ‘Heard It Through the Grapevine.’” Everyone laughed and forgot about what was clearly a crazy, ridiculous idea until the next morning. Absurd as it was, the idea seemed to have some legs.
Soon after the Seth and Dexter contacted Claymation creator Will Vinton, who took the idea and ran with it. The result? One of advertising’s most memorable and effective campaigns aired to resounding success.
Wow! I love this story. So often, we toss away those ideas that on the surface seem crazy, but may hold the nugget of something wonderful within them if we give them time to take shape. How can we keep those wispy, slippery ideas from slipping away?
Write it down: Anne Lamott likes to keep an index card and pen with her, so that when inspiration strikes, she can jot it down instead of forgetting it.
Visualize it: Sometimes, you can help a wispy gain solidity by seeing it in your mind’s eye. The more real it becomes, the more juice you can squeeze out of it.
Play around: Instead of just letting an idea fizzle, why not pump it up? Play around with it, toss it in the air and juggle with it – see where it takes you. Sometimes as idea is just floating out there in the ether, waiting for someone to grab it and run with it. So give it a chance to grow and see what happens. Play with it – have fn and see what happens.
Take it to the next level: When Seth and Dexter played around with their crazy idea and realized it might work, they took it to the next level by tapping into someone else’s creativity: they got in touch with the founder of Claymation and he brought the idea alive. Sometimes you need help the realize a vision, to make an idea really sing.
Ideas are everywhere, just waiting for us to grab them and run with them. As writers, we’re great at generating ideas – that’s our stock in trade. But developing them takes patience and devotion – and faith. So let’s play around with them and toss them in the air like juggling balls and see what happens. Write on!
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