What to do When Ideas Hit You Left, Right and Centre.



When Inspiration Strikes

You're sitting in a train on your way back from work, staring out the window feeling tired to your bones. Suddenly, as the train stops at one of its countless stations before yours, the graffiti on the wall catches your eye, making you sit up with a jolt. The colors, the message, the sheer creativity of it has suddenly given you inspiration. Your mind is flooding with ideas so fast you're afraid you'll lose them if you don't catch them. But you don't want to concentrate on any idea for too long fearing that it will stop the flow of other ideas that are just pouring in!

You fumble over what to do. And suddenly another idea strikes you. What do we do in a situation like this? How do we deal with the almost overwhelming influx of ideas?

Record Them!

Don't trust your brain to remember it for you. You're going to get home and the minute you see your front door all that inspiration will be forgotten. Your kids will launch themselves at you, welcoming you home and vying for your attention. You'd be so gratified and happy to see them after a hectic day that you'd want to spend time with them and forget everything else. In that instant, you'll forget your ideas.

Inspirations and ideas are flighty. If you don't immediately give them the attention they demand, they move on. Before you know it, someone else will be cashing in or getting famous on your big idea. We've all heard the original Napster joke.

Jot Down Your Ideas The Minute You Get Them7710_writing_cartoon

  • Always keep a paper and pencil handy.
  • If a paper and pen is not handy, then take notes on your cell phone. Don't have a cell phone? Get that paper pencil at once! And don't forget to tell me how you live without a cell phone!
  • If you're a writer, you're going to have a laptop close by most of the time. Write down your ideas immediately - don't wait till you get done working or have time. Open a word document and write it down now. Like, RIGHT NOW.
  • In the loo? This is why I keep telling you to have a pen handy. You can easily write on toilet paper if you have a pen. Heck, you can write on your hand!
  • At a restaurant? Use a napkin. I keep telling you to keep a pen with you.
  • Do yourself a favour and buy a moleskin. And buy that pen too! It's an investment.

As a writer, keeping a pen with me is a habit I consciously cultivated after finding myself getting ideas or perfect comeback lines (in my teenage years) often. Now,I'm more likely to have a pen in my bag than house keys.

Bottom line: Buy a pen. Surface to write on is easy to find.

Bookmark this post:
StumpleUpon Ma.gnolia DiggIt! Del.icio.us Blinklist Yahoo Furl Technorati Simpy Spurl Reddit Google


Post a Comment