idea debt
n. Imagining, planning, or thinking about a project instead of doing it.
Other Forms
Idea debt is something that I, without knowing it, have been in for years. The realization came after reading a blog post by a comic artist named Tracy Butler about having many ideas with tons of lore and planning, but with little to no execution of those ideas into a tangible product.
—aroman8, “I’m in Idea Debtor’s Prison,” Writing for Designers, February 11, 2016
Idea Debt is when you spend too much time picturing what a project is going to be like, too much time thinking about how awesome it will be to have this thing done and in the world, too much time imagining how cool you will look, how in demand you’ll be, how much money you’ll make. And way too little time actually making the thing.
—Jessica Abel, “Imagining Your Future Projects Is Holding You Back,” Observer, February 03, 2016
Pounding away at that idea debt this year.
—Chrissy Delk, “Pounding away…,” Twitter, January 30, 2016
2015 (earliest)
I try not to to look at what I’m going to do as this amazing great grand thing. I’m not just fulfilling some old promise that I made a long time ago. Now I’m actually solving problems in the moment, and that’s so much more exciting than than trying to fill years of what I like to call my “idea debt.” That’s when you have this dream of this awesome thing for years.
—Kazu Kibuishi, “Episode 7: Dark Forest,” Out on the Wire, December 06, 2015
I recently read a Harvard Business Review article about the daily routines of geniuses — minimal distractions in their workspace, daily walks at the same time, progress accountability metrics, stopping when you’re on a roll instead of when you’re completely stuck. This last one hit hard. I had to read it a few times for it to really sink in. You shouldn't "drain the reservoir," as Arthur Miller put it. I like to think of it as "idea debt."
—Paul Sternberg, “Process, Genius, Madness,” I Think We Should Talk, May 21, 2014