Ideas and grief.
Kill the baby
I’ve been writing a lot lately about letting go of things.
This is not a decluttering blog.
The foolsletter, I’m hoping is mostly about creativity.
One remarkably foolish thing that you can do in order to keep moving, keep shipping and keep making creative choices is to know what gets in the way.
Getting clear on goals and a creative path means getting clear on what we won’t be doing and where we are not going.
I’m addicted to new ideas.
I love them.
Every new idea brings with it a little reward.
Every new idea that I collect comes with a nice little hit of good feeling chemicals in my body.
For a long time, I was an idea hoarder.
Every new idea is like a snowflake. All of them are so special. And since they’re all so special, none of them are.
In the end as an idea hoarder, I could not go anywhere.
If I tested any of these ideas and they failed?
That would be painful
Hemmingway coined the phrase ‘kill your babies’ to refer to the editing process.
Editing lists of ideas is a similar process.
Each idea is a baby. And some of them need killing.
Imagine yourself looking down into the eyes of your sweet little idea, then doing something nasty to it.
Exactly. If ideas are babies, it’s not likely that we’re going to have ‘idea neck snapping parties’ any time soon.
But when we focus on a goal, we’re abandoning all of our other ideas.
They sit, unwanted, unattended and unloved like so many bags of roadside kittens.
When one idea seizes our attention, all the other ones die for a bit.
As such, we experience loss.
The experience of FOMO, the fear of missing out, is essentially a fear of loss.
FOMO speaks to the fact that though we have almost endless things to do and endless knowledge of what everyone else is doing, our human reality is finite and limited.
When we miss out, or if we fear it, it may be foolishly helpful to look at our experience through the lens of grief.
Grief as we know has a few consistent aspects including depression, denial, bargaining, acceptance and making meaning of the experience.
When you are facing FOMO, if you face it, what aspects of grief pop up for you first?
Can you lean into that feeling a little?
In a world where stuff and things calling for our attention is limited, but our time here is limited, how can we turn FOMO into NOMO, as in ‘no more, enough’?
It’s like the old saying goes:
No babies were harmed in the writing of this newsletter.