The biggest fear of every creative person is that they’ll run out of ideas.
Creativity is this strange ethereal thing that seems outside of our control. It seems like something that just happens to us. We have no say in the matter. So when a creative idea shows up, I tend to have two responses.
First, I want to share it. Partially because I long for significance and greatness. But also partially because I believe when you have a gift, it’s your responsibility to share it. If I have a creative idea, I want other people to be inspired, encouraged, and helped. So my first response is to share it.
But then I have a second response that I never see coming. I want to hold it back. I start believing the lie that creativity is a scarce resource. I could run out of it. And that fear turns me into the kind of person I don’t want to be.
It Makes Me Greedy.
I start hoarding my ideas, saving them up for a bigger audience.
“I’ll share this one when I have more readers,” I think to myself. “It’s too good for a small audience.”
The thought almost seems noble at first. If you have a gift, doesn’t it make sense to share it with as many people as possible?
But in reality, it’s a scarcity mindset. What I’m really doing is rationing my ideas like they’re my last morsel of bread on a desert island where no new ideas will ever find me. Apparently, my creative default is survival mode. And it turns me into a greedy person.
Rather than being generous with my ideas, I save them because I’m afraid I might not have anymore when I have a larger audience.
It Turns Me Into A Jerk
Hoarding ideas and saving them for a bigger audience is also pretty arrogant. The stereotype for famous people is that they leave behind and forget about their small dedicated community who believed in them because they‘ve become too “important” for such a small crowd.
I’m far from that level of success (after all, my last Medium story made me $0.48). Yet, I’m already acting like a diva, choosing a big crowd of fans that doesn’t even exist over a…