Thanks for this great article. Totally agree that brainstorming in groups often produces disappointing results. Agree 100% that creating is about executing on ideas, not daydreaming. I’ll definitely get my copy of your book.
However, there is one point in your reasoning that I don’t quite agree with: you say that “working in groups and deferring criticism” doesn’t work, and therefore the best way to create something meaningful is to “work alone and evaluate solutions as they occur”. This seems to me like a shortcut that oversimplifies the issue. Working alone AND deferring criticism has worked very well for me.
I wrote a 11-book series (which was published in August of last year and has been pretty successful to date), so now I know a thing or two about executing on one’s ideas. Main lesson learned during those years of hard work: the only viable way I’ve found of actually get the writing *done* AND be happy with its quality is to proceed in two steps: 1. Write without censoring yourself, even though not every sentence will be perfect, and 2. Correct and re-write.
We usually are very poor judges of our own writing, so deferring judgement until you actually find yourself in the same position as your reader, ie: reading several dozen pages in one single session, helps you a lot decide which edits are important and which are just vanity.
This method may not work for everyone but it surely worked for me.