a river of ideas

If you’re a creative type, you probably have a torrent of ideas threatening to make your head burst.

It’s wonderful and all kinds of exciting, right? It’s stressful and intimidating, right?

You have all these ideas, rushing, roiling past in a river, occasionally splashing you and focusing your attention on the mess dripping from your face. But you can’t catch the river, you only have your hands. So you dip in and grab a sample to bring home and use. A lot slips through your fingers on the way. Maybe you water your garden with what little is left. And the river still rushes and splashes and roars and you can’t grab it all.

Does it ever feel like failure, all the ideas slipping past your fingers? It’s frustrating not to be equipped with a big enough bucket. Or maybe more time. You want every drop but you can’t possibly have it all.

Some ideas will pass you by.

This is OK. It has to be OK. You’re dipping in your hands and getting some drops, right? And you use what you get to make something, right? And you let yourself be vulnerable and show the world the garden you watered with these precious drops, right?

You are being as productive as you can and that’s all you can do.

You don't need to catch the river to water your garden | Life is an Orange

To the guy on the other side, trying so very hard to catch the whole river in his hands, it’ll look like you’re doing better than he is. He is paralyzed by his failure. Longing for the oceans he missed. But you’re using what you did grab and your garden is growing. Only you will know how much of the river you didn’t catch, how many ideas passed by. We will only see what you did make and we’ll think you’re brilliantly prolific.

Keep going. Make stuff. Water your garden. Grow what you can and let us all enjoy it.