Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?

by Glen Stansberry

Why Does the Creative Fire Have to Die?Earlier this year I had a great idea for a web application.

I mapped out potential site features, sketched out a design, and started researching how to put the thing together.

I was completely immersed in the flow of creating. The idea was fresh, new, and exciting, and I loved every minute I had working on it.

But then after a few months, the idea hit a stage where it turned into a grind. I loved the idea still, but I didn’t love working on it.

The fire behind the idea had officially died.


There are going to be days when inspiration fades. Ideas are sexy in the beginning, but over time developing them can become a grind. And as if some unknown source is trying to lure me away from the original idea, another “better” idea will pop into my head.

It can be draining to develop an idea from start to finish. Most people don’t understand that ideas truly become a labor of love after a certain point. Finishing isn’t a goal; it’s a quest.

Yet there’s a little trick to learning how to stay motivated with ideas: Do your best work.

For whatever reason, when we’re creating to our full potential, work suddenly becomes an energizing process. Instead of draining us, work becomes satisfying. It fills you up as you exert your energy toward it.

In elementary school, I remember teachers constantly rewarding us for taking the extra time and doing better work as opposed to rushing to finish. (I wonder if they still teach that in the schools?) Now the “real world” teaches us that deadlines matter, praising speed and efficiency. It’s no wonder that people quickly burn out of their jobs over the years when they’re forced to meet a deadline, not create incredible things.

The fire never has to die if we’re doing our best work. Instead of blazing for a short period and dying, we can create at a steady, clean smolder. We have to value quality over quantity.

That’s how the real masters crank out masterpieces in a steady cycle. They’ve learned how to take joy in what they do by creating at their full potential, and doing it every day.

Stoking Your Innovation BonfireEditor’s Note: I’ll e-mail a free Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire sample chapter to anyone who correctly identifies the metal being burned in the above photo using our contact form.


Glen Stansberry
Glen Stansberry writes at LifeDev,
a blog that helps people make their ideas happen. You can follow him on Twitter here.