How to find your next BIG idea

What if I told you I am working on a new project and it’s going to be incredibly exciting, beautiful, inspiring, oh and life changing, too?

Would you be dying to know what it is!?

Guess what?

So would I. Seriously.

Here’s the truth.

I am working on a new project AND I am not totally sure what it is yet.

Yup, not precisely clear. The full idea has not yet been revealed. It’s in the formulation phase. There are pieces here and there, but it hasn’t come into a clear picture.

(I know. After last week’s post, yet another scandalous thing for a business owner to reveal!)

Have you ever been in the space where you know you are on the brink of something, but you don’t know exactly what it is and are not able to articulate the idea yet?

You know fabulousness is your destiny. You know you have stuff to say and people who need to hear it, but what it is EXACTLY… meh. Not sure.

Maybe you feel it’s on the tip of your tongue and if someone would just tell you the answer, you would be all, “Yes! That’s it! I am saved!” Angels singing.

But the damn angels don’t show up and nobody ever tells you. I call this, THE VOID. It’s the dark space between you and your Light.

I know as a creative artists and entrepreneurs, this can be just about the most uncomfortable place in the world to be.

But lean in, because this is the important part.

Stop FREAKING the heck out during this time of ‘not knowing’!

Many people repeat to themselves and everyone around them, “I don’t know. I’m not sure. I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know what I want. I am confused.”

The problem is that when you declare this to yourself over and over again, you create blocks for the light to enter.

You must walk through and fully embrace the darkness in order to find the light.

It’s ok not to know.

It’s all right not to have the answer.

In fact, in Kabbalah they say the more darkness (challenge) there is in any situation, the more potential there is for Light (love.) How do you like that?

How to find your next BIG idea

If you are in that pitch-dark room, wondering what your next idea/move/project/answer is going to be, I recommend 2 things.


Each day when you write your  TO DO list, literally add this action item:

STEP INTO THE VOID- 30 minutes.

What does stepping into the void look like? I don’t know and neither do you. That’s the point. It’s different every time you do it. It allows you 30 minutes of unburdened time, giving you permission to literally NOT KNOW.

During that time you might write, you might think, you might cry. Who knows!? (Psst, the truth is that Universe will likely rush in with some great stuff, so go ahead and step in.)

I created my one woman show, The Last Good Girl, by stepping into the void everyday for several weeks. I knew I wanted to write a show. I had some character ideas, but I had NO idea where these characters lived or what their stories were. It was in the Void that the show began to reveal itself, one scene at a time.


Cut it out, friend. It’s not helping. You may not know at this very second. But ya gotta declare something else. You have to decide that you WILL know exactly when you know. The answers ARE on their way. The path IS being carved right as you read these words.

The mantras we use for this month’s SHRINK SESSION might help give you some more powerful words to focus on while you are searching.


It’s my time
My vision is clear
I can feel my power
Right now, right here
I will HOLD the vision
I will take the action
I am ready to break through
to TOTAL satisfaction
I am miracle magnet

What I desire is on it’s way
What I seek, is also seeking me

I have decided that I am going to bring you along as I move through some of the formulation and creation phases of my next project.

It will come through in my FACEBOOK posts, INSTAGRAM photos and maybe a blog post here and there.

I think as artists and entrepreneurs we should not only share our finished products, but perhaps if we share the journey of how we got there it will inspire others to set sail on their own creative journey as well.

(It’s ok to be honest about the fact that the creative process can be a crazy hot mess, yes?)

Right now, I want you to tell me:

1. Have you ever been in the place where you didn’t have something figured out?
2. Did it eventually get revealed?
3. Where there any actions you took to help the process along?

I think that your answers will help remind you of your own power in sorting through things and it will inspire others who might be in the dark right now.

With little itty bitty baby sparks of light and exciting things to come,

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11 Responses to How to find your next BIG idea

  1. Jamie Askew says:

    LOVE THIS! When I was working on my film PIECES, before I knew it was a film, before I knew I would write/produce/star in it, I knew something was coming along and I didn’t know what yet. I set up a practice where I would sit in a comfortable place with a lovely view and a favorite pen and good writing paper and write down anything that came to me. I wouldn’t sit too long and I didn’t beat myself up if nothing came. If something came to me I’d write for as long as I needed. If nothing came I got up after 20 mins and did something else. I did this every Sunday afternoon and within a month I had my first draft.

    • Erin says:

      Jamie- This is SUCH a great example of stepping into the void. Amazing that within a month you had a first draft! Beautiful.

  2. Roshini says:

    You know, this post was like balm for my soul today.

    I am at the beginning of a massive new project and I have NO idea what I’m doing! And no idea how any of it is gonna turn out!

    I LOVE the stepping into the void idea… so far I’ve been trying to run away from it, maybe I can try and face it this time, one little step at a time…

    Thanks Erin, this was just wonderful… and such an important reminder XXX

  3. Krysta says:

    This newsletter was so timely. I quit my day job recently, and I wasn’t planning to jump right in to my own business full time, but so far that’s what’s happening. Every morning when I wake up, I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, but I keep showing up. And I keep getting affirmations that I’m headed in the right direction. I also love that you mention letting us in on the creative process. I had a similar idea recently, and now I’m trying to document my 10,000 hours (to being an expert photographer) on my blog. It’s daunting and exhilarating to think about what the progress is going to look like over the years.

    So, yes, three cheers for stepping into the void!

    • Ashlee says:

      Krysta, can we call it a small world, or what? From the looks of your awesome website, you did my pal, Lindsey’s engagement photos. Chicagoans who love Erin Stutland? Heck yes and hello. 🙂

  4. Lee Slimmer says:

    I will step into the void. Our production got pushed back. No shooting this August. Bummed. Void. I will step in. I am a miracle magnet. This is a time to allow. We still have $35,000 to raise. There’s actually much to do. I will take the action. My vision is not so clear, haha. I will step into the void. My vision is clear. I am showing up. Something better is brewing. It’s on the horizon. What I seek is also seeking me. Thanks, Ms Stuts!

  5. Tim says:

    About 11 years ago, I was working on a screenplay in a writing class. I had the first act written and received raves from my classmates and instructor. One of the guys in the class was an accomplished screenwriter and he wanted to team up with me on the script. He expressed his love for what I had written up to that point and he wanted to know how it was going to end. I told him that I had no friggin’ idea and that I was figuring it out as I went. He was like, “Dude, that’s crazy. You can’t write that way. You have to know where you are going and how the story is going to end before you write another word.”
    For some reason, I listened to him and I still don’t know how that story is going to end. Waiting for the creative traffic lights to all turn green before stepping on the gas is a surefire way (at least in my case) to stay in one place.
    Flash forward 10 years and I wanted to get a solo show up off the ground. I had rich characters, a ton of life experience and insight and absolutely NO clue as to how to implement them. What did I do? First step was to hire a kick ass coach (props to Erin S). She led me to a director who let me improv these characters for him and the next thing you know, there was a show. The process was VERY uncomfortable. In fact, the rehearsals were like drudgery and I doubted myself more than ever. The solo show enjoyed a sold out run in April and was just accepted to a Solo Festival for the Fall. Game on.
    As I’m working on a film project now, I’m feeling all the same shit again. Only this time, ‘the void’ is a little more familiar. I don’t know how this film is going to turn out or how I’m going to raise the money to see it all through. One thing that is amazing me is how everyday I work on this project, a new opportunity/avenue reveals itself. For the first time in my life, I have people offering financial backing for one of my ideas. It’s humbling and a little scary (void-like).
    This blog post is a nice reminder to keep going. When in doubt-pick up the phone, share your vision, connect with people who can support your creative spirit and keep going. Be committed to having it turn out and trust that the clarity will eventually happen. Maybe not all at once, but eventually you’ll be clear on what the next steps are.

  6. eric best says:

    “Keep going!”
    (Great advice.)

  7. Ashlee says:

    I so needed to hear this today. Thank you! As someone who left her high-paying, ten year career to embark on work in animal rights back in August, I have definitely seen my plan evolve and have struggled with the uncertainty of that evolution. Now, I’m building a reputation as a vegan lifestyle guru, which is totally fun and I’m loving it, but uncertainty is creeping in to other aspects of my life (my relationship, my living situation, if I’m going to get a day job to make ends meet, etc), and it’s damn scary. So, it’s really nice to see that uncertainty being turned in to a positive thing (by spending time with it) and a practice. I now feel a little less antsy and a lot more trusting of the universe. Thanks, Erin! You rock!

  8. I’m knee deep in the VOID! So many ideas, so much information gathering. Just. How. To. Get. It. Out. There.

    Thanks for the tips! I’m going to try them out!

  9. Mike Huiwitz says:

    Thank you. This should help me figure out that next big idea.