Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

The Unique Power of Ideas


“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”
—  George Bernard Shaw

The wonders of light bulb momentsThis quote has really got me thinking about the wonders of our light bulb moments.

They don’t discriminate. Anyone – old or young, male or female, rich or poor – can have an idea.

They are free. It doesn’t cost you anything to come up with an idea. You don’t really need the fancy gadgets, expensive locations or specific skills. While these things can be used in the pursuit of ideas, the ideas themselves are not dependant on them. They come flitting into your head without a prepaid plan or tax attached.

There are no quotas. There’s no little man in a little office somewhere metering out the number of ideas distributed in a day. You are free to come up with as many of them as you want. There is no penalty or official limit.

They can be shared. As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, once you have an idea, you can share it with anyone. It can travel through word of mouth, advertisements, art etc. And the more people who see the idea, the more copies of those ideas you’ll have. Ideas can be copied into the minds of as many people as you like without you having to restock the item.

They have the power to change things. Ideas can change almost anything, from the way you feed your dog to the way you live your life. Ideas can change the world.

Can you think of any additions to the list?

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art


Author: Jessica

I'm a writer who refuses to pin myself down to one genre, hopping from science-fiction and fantasy through to literary and even the odd western now and then. Check out what I've written at or follow me on Twitter @jessbaverstock.

9 thoughts on “The Unique Power of Ideas

  1. I don’t have an addition but I have an experience regarding a free, non-descriminatory, non-quota, power-to-change idea I had just yesterday. I was reading some information regarding how often storylines are set up so that the reader is waiting for that climatic moment when the baddy comes to some sort of violent end, and I thought of how I didn’t really want to just have the stock-standard “violence solves everything” storyline (or in the case of sequals and trilogies, ‘”violence temporarily solves everything”).
    And yet, my story does need action. And there are so few appealing stories that do not have some sort of conflict, some adversity needing to be overcome.
    And then I had THE IDEA! A free, un-quota(d), un-discriminatory idea. Have both the conflict, action and violence (as necessary) and run it under the theme ‘See? Violence is NOT a wise solution’.
    Now my storyline, I feel, has more depth. There is more nuance and shading to all my characters. There is a deeper level of reality – the ‘good’ characters are more flawed, the ‘bad’ characters more noble.
    My storyline is changed for the better. And should I share the story, then perhaps it’s theme, that idea, can make other people consider change.

  2. Great quote! I can see the puzzled apple swapers wondering why they can’t increase their supply.

    I would add that when we share ideas they often give birth two new ideas, so if we share ideas we just might get three ideas or more.

    Another plus for ideas is they can be EXCITING and they make life more INTERESTING. Even if we decide tomorrow the idea is inpractical or unsustainable it makes today that little bit better, more hopeful, more fun.

  3. Whatever your ideas, you better write them down. Don’t assume they will be there whenever you’re ready to call them up and use them. You may find it beneficial to review, even years down the road, the ideas you don’t use immediately. If you forget your idea and your friend forgets his or her idea–neither of you has an idea.

  4. an idea makes you feel good
    when you’re low think of an idea
    sometimes the best ones are born out of sorrow 🙂

  5. Pingback: Favourite Posts You May Not Have Read – Jessica’s Picks « Creativity's Workshop

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave a reply below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s