I don’t know about you, but over the years, I’ve discovered that inspiration often hits at the most inconvenient times – like when I’m in the shower or in the middle of the night or when I’m out walking the dog.
I’ve developed a few strategies to capture those awkwardly timed bits of inspiration. For starters, I keep a pen and notebook by my bedside for those middle of the night moments. We also have an antique slate chalkboard in our kitchen where I often capture bits of inspiration. (My children know never to erase funny looking word snippets without first checking with me.) And I always have a pen in my purse. I try to have little notebook as well, but if I don’t I’ve become quite skilled at writing on napkins, old ticket stubs, receipts etc. I’ve also been known, if out and about without the necessary idea capturing tools, to talk aloud to myself, repeating that perfectly phrased new rhyming snippet, until I get home or find emergency access to pen and paper.
These strategies, however, are far from perfect.
There was the night, for example, when I came up with the perfect third verse for a poem I was working on. Not wanting to wake my husband, I quickly grabbed my bedside note book and pen and wrote the verse down in the dark. The next morning I was dismayed to discover the page was completely blank. I’d written with the cap on!
And my children have made it perfectly clear through eye rolls, etc. that they find it embarrassing when we’re walking together and I start to repeat verses out loud while on walks so that I don’t forget them. Mortified, I think would be the right word their reaction.
That’s why I’m delighted to have hit upon a new idea capturing device – the “notes” feature on my iPhone. Since I’m a terrible at texting – all thumbs as they say- I use the handy dictation mode to record sparks of inspiration or that perfect phrase for my current work-in-progress. This system works well, though I have be careful to speak slowly and clearly or the words get jumbled.
What about you? How do you handle it when creativity strikes when you are busy with something else? I’d love to hear your stories of funny, awkward inspiration moments and/or what you find to be the most effective way to capture ideas.
Happy idea gathering, all!