For me, inspiration is not a whisper or a tap, it’s more like a slap. For me, inspiration is not conveniently timed, because more often than not, I am driving. And let me tell you, that is the last place you want to try to write something down or even find the right button on any gadget to record said inspiration. I’ve pulled over to the side of the road and searched for a pen or tapped out a note on my iPhone. I’ve also, and more frequently, just repeated the idea to myself until I was able to get home and write it down. It goes something like this: DON’TFORGETDON’TFORGETDON’TFORGETDON’TFORGETDON’TFORGETDON’TFORGETDON’TFORGET
What was that again? Oh shit! Oh right!
One time when inspiration slammed on its brakes in my brain, I was on a less-than-five-minute ride dropping off my daughter at the train station in our modest, midwestern downtown that has a library, two restaurants, a cleaners, a bakery, the post office, and an eye doctor. Oh right, and an health food store for dogs. I drove around the circle that would take me back toward home and the story hit me. Oh my God! This was it. The next big thing! No time or inclination to stop, so I repeated it to myself, aloud (I was alone, after all) and when I was home I wrote it down. And then promptly forgot about it for a while.
That’s the thing about inspiration, it’s the nudge or the tickle of an idea—at least for me. But when inspiration is followed by motivation, then you have something. The motivation drives me to discover what is underneath the inspiration, what falls out when I turn it upside down. Sometimes it’s a treasure, and sometimes, it’s dreck.
Nothing has happened yet with the inspiration from my quick drive this summer. It’s a bit of something that I’m drawn to still, but have not yet been motivated to figure out what else there is to it. Sometimes inspiration is simply an idea, nothing more. Sometimes inspiration drives you to the depths of creativity. I’m hoping that one day the tidbit I still carry with me in my head, although it’s also on paper, will nudge me to find out more. But until then I’m always glad for a little interruption in my day, no matter what comes of it.
How do you remember your ideas when you can’t write them down? And, do you use all your inspirations or do some of them get lost in the shuffle?