Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blue Sky What!?!?

Blue Sky What???

          Disney calls it Blue Sky Thinking. What it means is start you're planning without limits. Let all your ideas fly free up in the Big Blue Sky!

          When a team at Disney starts to work on a movie, ride, restaurant or shop they think big and remove all limits. They let the ideas flow and all ideas to be expressed. They set aside all though about cost, time, size or technological limits. Does this mean all ideas will be accepted and show up in movies, parks and stores? No they will not.

          The wonder of Blue Sky thinking is freedom. It gives freedom to express thoughts without limits. When a team of designers comes in to design a ride they put all the ideas out then look at what sounds good to add to the attraction. They group the ideas into those that are must does, want to do and just don't work.

          Next comes looking at the must does and seeing if they fit within the realm of doable. Does the technology exist to do it? If not can it be figured out? Is there space and finances to do it? If the answer is no to any of the above questions they see if they can alter the idea in a way to make it work. You never know when one idea will lead to another that solves problems making things thought impossible possible.

          So what does this have to do with normal everyday life for non Disney Imagineers? It has plenty to do with anybody who wants to do anything, especially creative things!

          Years ago I had an idea for a story, my 25 Voices of Christmas. I started working on it and kept at it until I thought it was good enough. I then tried to get it published. Many people told me I was nuts, not many people got published and fewer unknown authors get published every year.

          Over the years since I first wrote the stores I've gone back and revisited them several times improving them and cleaning up errors and making sure there were no holes in the story. As I did this I continued to look for avenues for publication. With each new idea for publishing I found more problems. I still found no traditional publisher would even take the time to look at it. I found self publishing had come a long way so I looked into that possibility. Again I was discouraged when I found the cost was too high. I would pay to print the books and then it was up to me to promote the book. It offered big outlay with little chance of return. As a family we could not afford the risk of little no return.

          At this point it would have been easy to give up and stop trying. Here is where Blue Sky thinking came into play. Instead of giving up I kept looking for ways to get my book out. Things have changed in the publishing industry over the last five years or so. No longer is the paper book the only way to publish. EReaders have taking a big chunk out of the book market. More people are going online and skipping the visit to the bookstore when looking for a book.

          With the growth of the internet even more options have developed for self-publishing. There are now several self-publishing websites for publishing ebooks, books designed just to be read on an ereader such as the Kindle or Nook. After much looking and research I found Smashwords.com, an ebook self-publishing site.

          If I had not kept the Blue Sky Thinking in mind my book would have never been published. So what idea have you kept tied to the grown and not let fly up into the unlimited Blue Sky? What idea of yours will you allow to fly free?

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