Ask Anna: As a freelancer, how do I know if my ideas suck?

In this month’s column, our agony aunt Anna Higgs suggests ways in which freelancers (and others) can evaluate their own ideas

Dear Anna,

As a freelancer, how do you know if your idea sucks?


Dear Benoît,

This is a big question. This is a question that has been asked since creation began, and one that I hope will be asked as long as it continues. It is a question that everyone, not just freelancers, asks all the time.

The reason I hope this question is asked forever, is that it comes from a brilliant place – a place where you’re taking risks, because you’re pushing yourself and exploring new ideas. And though this is a question asked pretty much universally by great creatives, I understand from experience that it’s particularly hard when you’re working in isolation as a freelancer.

I’m going to assume you’re not asking for help with specific processes to generate ‘good’ ideas here, but rather how to test out ideas you’re generating and considering which to progress. So building on that, I’d say there are a two key ways to test out whether ideas ‘suck’. Because in myriad ways, the creative process is about all of the ideas – good, bad and indifferent – and you have to have them all. What’s important is how you have them, how you nurture them, which you throw away and what won’t be ignored.