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How I Think

If you visited this website before 9.30am this morning, you’ll know that it started off as a jumbled mess.

That’s how I think.

My first attempt to build this site resulted in a super complex model based on 7 different blog topics, with several of the topics being super complex as well.

It all made perfect sense to me, and I really loved how the website could be structured to demonstrate a 7-fold model (which was also one of the topics).

I love reflexive creative works: speeches about public speaking, movies about actors, books about writers, and so on. So why not a 7-fold blog about a 7-fold perspective?

But this morning I realised that I was trying to force this poor little blog into a structure that was all wrong for it. This realisation was a long time coming … it’s been trying to break through to my conscious mind for the past week. And all it took was somebody visiting my site and saying, “I liked what I saw, but have to say I found it all a bit confusing as I jumped from one hot topic to another.”

And that’s when it all hit home.

Of course he found it confusing jumping from one hot topic to another. Anyone would. Because my website wasn’t a product of my creative thought process; it was a reflection of it. And my thought process is probably way too disorganised, way too all-over-the-place, to be much fun for anyone else to follow.

I mean, I had pages linking to other pages, mid-thought, then returning to the original page. And I had a huge list of ideas under the IMPORTANT STUFF heading, with many ideas leading the reader on a circuitous journey all around the website.

It was so crazy.

As soon I realised how confusing that must be for anyone who isn’t me, it was easy to whittle down the topics and pages and posts, and to get rid of the numerous diversions and tangents, and to make this blog straightforward. It took all of 30 minutes or so to restructure this entire website. The content was fine. The structure was not fine.

So that’s my challenge when I create stuff. I need to use my creative thought process, which is naturally all over the place, and produce work that is NOT all over the place. I need to be careful not to let my creative thought process leak into the work I produce. I need to distil my ideas into formats and structures that embody the ideas, and not the processes by which I arrived at those ideas.

Do you do creative work? What are your challenges? Click here to reply.

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