It hits you anywhere, often when you are relaxed. In the shower, driving, daydreaming, listening to music, right before sleep, a conversation with friends. Sometimes, it hits in the midst of brainstorming (IT IS A BRAINSTORM!), where your creative juices are already flowing, fueled by ideas flying through the air, waiting to picked like a handful of cherries. Particular places can spark it – sitting in front of your computer with a blank page, a walk by the lake, the backyard patio.
It hits and you are overwhelmed with excitement: “This is an amazing idea! It could change my life!” If you weren’t busy relaxing, you’d get up and write, paint, solve problems, change the world with great ideas…this idea. Difficult to even stay in your seat really, but first, you’ll finish the conversation, or at least your drink, then you’ll write it down. After all, something this vivid isn’t going away, right? The idea is far too astounding to be lost in the next couple of minutes…
But, minutes later, you scratch your head. Hmmmm. What was that again? As fleeting as a dream, it is gone – the magic faded, the momentum washed away. And even if you do remember, it just isn’t quite as enticing as it was before. Just a lingering feeling that it could have changed your world, or at least brought you more excitement, prosperity and joy.
Does this sound familiar? How often do you sacrifice the inspirations of your day to the gods of work, duty, boredom and laziness?
Of course, you can’t write a book or make millions NOW. There really are things that have to be done to manifest this inspiration from mind to matter. What you can do, though, is WRITE IT DOWN.
There is a method to that too – a couple of words will look just as dull a few hours later as if you didn’t record the idea at all. As best you can, capture in your note the feeling of the inspiration – the vividness, the image – as well as the mechanical details. What did you want to do or be and what words capture the feeling of it? Jot down as much as you can.
Then, don’t leave it hanging! Sure, if you’ve done your job when inspiration strikes, you might be able to recapture that idea and feeling months or years from now. Better than waiting that long is to at least allow it to fill you again before you go to bed, and the next morning when you get up.
Most importantly though, write it down NOW, when the moment comes, and let it keep on coming as you write. Be as complete and thorough as the moment allows.
Essential tools – a portable notebook and pen. Even better, a digital recorder – it’s faster and you can do it while driving. Maybe even from the shower if it’s close enough. The voice memo function on many cell phones is perfect, as long as you can one-touch it. Sometimes, even waiting for your word processor to open is enough time to lose the thought. You can always rewrite it later – just don’t miss it.