What A Good Idea Feels Like

Adam Westbrook
3 min readFeb 25, 2021
Image: Adam Westbrook

A good idea feels nebulous at first.

In my experience, a good idea almost never appears fully formed.

It’s more like a vast gas cloud in space: a feeling here, a colour there, a quote, a couple of chords that float past your nostrils and evaporate. Whatever it is, you like it, but you can’t attach it to anything yet.

In the passing of time, those gases slowly condense to form liquids and eventually something solid.

Like the good universe itself, patience is necessary.

A good idea feels like a visitation.

In her book Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert has this great way of describing ideas as floating sprites in search of human partners:

Ideas are driven by a simple impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner…Therefore, ideas spend eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing human partners.”

This little story does two really powerful things for me. Firstly, it detaches my ego from the quality…



Adam Westbrook

Video artist working at The New York Times. I write a newsletter about visual storytelling and creativity. https://adamwestbrook.co.uk/