70 days ago, on December 13th, 2015, I started a daily practice of writing down 10 ideas a day. More specifically, I started working my way through the book Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century. It was written by Claudia Azula Altucher, a yoga teacher and the wife of James Altucher, one of my favorite authors of the moment.
The premise of the book is that similar to exercising our biceps, quads, and other physical muscles, we should also be exercising our 'idea muscles,' or 'mind muscles' to come up with new ways of thinking and interacting with the outside world. As stated in the forward (written by James Altucher), "IDEAS ARE THE CURRENCY OF LIFE. Not money. Money gets depleted until you go broke. But good ideas buy you good experiences, buy you better ideas, buy you better experiences, buy you more time, save your life." They don't even have to be good ideas, they just have to be something you wouldn't have thought of otherwise -- and before you know it, you'll be writing down 3'650 ideas a year. And maybe one or two of them actually will be good.
The book has a daily prompt for 180 days straight, and I've been faithfully filling it out for 70 days now. I've written down things like 10 apps I'd like to use; 10 new technologies for smart refrigerators; 10 ways to generate passive income; 10 new recipes; 10 new card games; 10 crazy ideas (brain implants for cats so you can train them to do household chores while you're out!). I still have 110 days to go.
The book is honestly a little hard to understand sometimes - the author speaks English as a second language, and it's riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes. It's actually confounding she wouldn't have had at least one native English speaker proofread it before publication, particularly when there's so little text. The book does suffer for it; nevertheless, it's a great daily exercise, and I'm so pleased to be jotting thoughts down like this each and every day. Particularly as I endeavor to pursue a more creative life, I need to be coming up with ideas! More, please!
Today, Day 70, the prompt was "Come up with the title of 10 books (fiction or non-fiction) that include a color in the title where the color means something else." My ten were:
1) Are Your Children Blue? (a parenting book about childhood depression)
2) How Green Could You Be? (a book about wastefulness, and the little changes we could all be making to help our planet)
3) Big Red Comes Home With A Vengeance (a true-crime story about a serial killer, nicknamed 'Big Red', who returns to his home town after being released from prison)
4) Sold For 30 Pieces of Silver (a biography about Judas Iscariot)
5) An Orange A Day Makes It Easy to Play! (a nutritional guide for a new diet based around oranges)
6) The Indigoes And The Mystery Of Onlygourd Cove (a fantasy novel about the five children of the Indigo family and their summer spent near Onlygourd cove where nothing is as it seems...)
7) Why Be Yellow When You Could Be Brave? (a self-help book about overcoming cowardice)
8) The Case Of The Emerald Necklace (a period love story between two star-crossed twentysomethings, wherein an emerald necklace makes its way from Imperial Russia to war-torn Germany in 1916)
9) The Days Are Black, And So Is The Night (a novel about constant darkness that strikes a small midwestern town suddenly and inexplicably, setting it apart from the rest of the world)
10) Marvin K. Brown, Will You Please Sit Down! (the long-awaited sequel to Dr. Seuss' Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!)
Thank goodness I only had to write the titles rather than the actual books. But you never know, maybe one day I'll actually pick up one of these ideas.
And in the meantime, at least I've gotten some daily exercise.