I’ve come to the realization that inspiration always strikes when I’m elbow deep in something that can’t be dropped for the sake of a notepad and pen. No exceptions. I could sit at the computer for three straight days and not have as many amazing ideas as I do when I’m in the shower, washing dishes, or walking my dog. And, naturally, before I’m done the task, someone or something always managed to distract me enough that the ideas go right out of my head.
Are you guys ready for my crazy solutions to this problem? Okay. Good. Please feel free to laugh, I don’t mind.
- Verbalizing the idea. In short? Talking to myself. My family must think I’m batshit crazy because I stand in the shower and work out plot details out loud. It comes from that whole “hear it, see it, do it” method of teaching that gets kids to remember things better. I’m talking and listening to myself at the same time, and it helps to cement it in my memory. Like repeating a person’s name when you meet them, so you’re more likely to remember it later. =]
- Record it! I don’t do this one, personally, because I hate listening to my own voice. I have friends that swear by recording their ideas onto their cell phone. It’s the one thing most people always have with them, right?
- Repetition. This one is boring. Think it over and over and over. Boring. But it gets the job done, usually, until you can run like hell to a notebook and scribble the brilliance onto a page.
- Avoid talking to people. Seriously. Nothing will kill your train of thought like unrelated conversation. Also, don’t put yourself in a zone to the point where you almost get hit by a car. I’m very lucky to still have my legs from the knee down. >_>
- Maybe it’s just in my case, but don’t listen to music with lyrics. Music with lyrics KILLS my train of thought, and I end up rocking out and feeling something completely different by the time a song is over.
What’s the point of exploding awesome ideas into your head if you can’t remember them, right? I’ve heard that “if the idea is really great, then you’ll remember it sooner or later.” Maybe for some people, but most of my great ideas are pretty fleeting. I blame my very-much-undiagnosed ADD, I don’t know about you guys.
No matter where your Muse percolates its awesome ideas, try not to lose them. One of them may turn out to be the best thing you ever write. =]