As Ideas Go

I had what I thought was a pretty good idea for a blog post about decluttering the mind and life. It was based on a quote of David Allen, author of Getting Things Done:

“Don’t use your mind to accumulate stuff and avoid it. …Don’t use your mind to get stuff off your mind.”

My idea was sort of like The Power of Now meets an episode of Hoarders.

As ideas go, it’s a pretty good one, because I often encounter people who are unhappily trying to use their brains like warehouses, instead of like pianos. I think you get my point.

So I was googling around, trying to confirm the exact quote and its source, when I stepped in something disappointing:

The top few Google search results for this quote are … me.

Dang it, I already wrote the blog post I wanted to write, about a year and a half ago.

Hey, I’ve posted on this blog over 3000 times. Who can keep track of all the effluvium?

The good news is, the post I wrote in 2013 was probably better than what I was going to write tonight.

Has that ever happened to you? Do you ever have an idea for something to write, only to discover that you’ve already written it?

” It’s more like trading the two birds
who might be hiding in that bush
for the one you are not holding in your hand.”

– Billy Collins

4 thoughts on “As Ideas Go

  1. It occurred to me that if I want to stop writing the same things, maybe I should stop reading the same things. So I zipped down to Barnes & Noble today and picked up “Going Rogue, An American Life,” by Sarah Palin.

    Can’t wait to read it. I’ve heard it’s scintillating.

    A real barn burner, I mean page-turner.

    … April Fools!

  2. Not quite the same thing, but recently I read a blurb I’d written back in 2007 about the novel I’d just finished, mentioning the name of one of the main characters and even now I can’t recall what that character did in the story. (I suppose I could check it out in the book, but no.)

  3. LOL, Kyle – that is hilarious! That has happened to me a couple of times when I thought I was researching something for the first time and then realized I’d already done that, and written about it. I think maybe we cycle around like spirals sometimes, coming back to thoughts and ideas but from a new place. I sort of wish you hadn’t found your old post until AFTER you’d written the new one. It would be interesting to read both and compare!

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