We need to find inspiration to write. There are plenty of tools, exercises and methodologies out there to help us to generate ideas. Many of these are great and once you find the ones that suit your style then you can have an endless supply of ideas. My concern in this post is mainly about those sparks of genius that often come at the most inappropriate of times, when we are least prepared for them:
When you are rushing out of the door, going through your “leaving the house” routine. Locking everything up and recapping the mental check-list of everything you need to achieve before you can return home.
In those moments when you are trying to get a few more minutes sleep after having been woken up to let the dog out, deal with a restless child or answer the door/phone to a very inconsiderate person!
It is that grey area between being awake and being asleep which most often undoes me. As we move forward in this technological age our preparedness is much less likely to be lacking but even so, the will to capture that thought for prosperity still seems to elude us. I don’t know how many times I’ve had one of those moments and have thought to myself “Ah good idea, I must remember that for later” and then I promptly continue on with my allotted task totally forgetting all about my moment of inspiration. Of course that moment of inspiration does not remain forgotten it just becomes ephemeral and very annoyingly lives just outside your field of vision.
Elizabeth Gilbert – author of Eat, Pray, Love – gave an amazing talk about nurturing your creativity for Ted 2009, it is well worth a watch. I do not necessarily agree with all of her views but it is always interesting to listen to other peoples views on subjects in order to challenge your own.
It is difficult to catch an elusive thought, to make it concrete. This Native American Proverb goes a long way to explain why that is the case:
Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.
So the answer to the conundrum is that you have to stop and interact with the thought whatever excuses your busy mind might be giving you. Just stop, grab the nearest writing tool and make some notes. Doing it in that moment will save you both time and heartache in the long run. Those elusive thoughts that remain just out of reach cause an uncomfortable feeling. Having them lurking in the background also makes us less focused and unable to concentrate. I have spent endless amounts of time attempting to recall particular trains of thought to no avail when a couple of minutes jotting down the thoughts would have avoided the entire issue!
Or maybe it is just me, maybe I’m the only one! Do you have the same problem and what action do you take to avoid it?