Yesterday walking to work I had an interesting idea. It wasn’t new and it wasn’t entirely mine either. Well, it was and it wasn’t. Apparently there’s no such a thing as a new idea. Somebody somewhere somewhen had it before. It’s just that either no one remembers, not in any conscious way anyhow, or that whoever had the idea let it go again.
This is what usually happens to me, I let them go again. Not because I want to, but because my memory doesn’t hold onto them. If I wake up out of a dream and foggily think that I should be writing that down, but can’t be bothered, because if I would, I’d be awake at a time that I don’t want to be awake at, I tend to loose ideas.
I fall back asleep telling myself to remember and write it down in the morning. All I remember in the morning is that I had an idea that I wanted to write down, but what it was I can’t remember and I curse myself for not writing it down when I still had it.
Apparently the short term memory only lasts for three minutes. Unless I manage to hold onto an idea for more than three minutes I’m bound to loose it again.
The idea I had yesterday on the way to work was lost as soon as I arrived and started doing other things, before I could take a note of it. I didn’t even realize it was gone until I got home again remembering that there’d been something I’d wanted to write on my blog.
Guess what, I cursed myself for letting it go.
Today it came back to me in the middle of the day and I immediately wrote myself an email with just a short note, which is sufficient to remind me what it was. I will write on that tomorrow.
It was in a Discworld novel, where the concept of ideas flying wildly around space and time latching onto suitable individuals in order to come to fruition, was introduced. It might’ve been Making Movies.
The ideas chose the individual, not the other way around. There was one individual, though, who was “cursed” with being chosen by ideas all the time. That is, if I remember correctly. I think, I do.
Jack London said that one shouldn’t wait for inspiration to come, but to go after it with a club. Ideas and inspiration go very much hand in hand, but whilst I agree that sitting around and waiting for lightning to strike is generally a waste of time, I’m not sure that clubbing it over the “head” and drag it away to beat it into submission will work either.
That imagery sounds somewhat disturbing. Especially if your imagination runs away with you, like mine usually does, and you start to anthropomorphize such concepts as an idea or inspiration. All I end up thinking is: poor thing. Nobody wants to be clubbed over the head after all. Never mind that neither ideas nor inspiration have such a thing as a head.
And I don’t think clubbing myself in its stead would do any good either.
Gosh, I think I might be running off in a direction that was entirely not planned.
Now I don’t know anymore, if there was a point to any of this. I can put one on it, though. For instance: one must seek inspiration and ideas will follow. Easy. Really, I’m not making this up, it is actually easy.
Figure out what inspires you. Just walking past a book store makes me want to sit down and write, so I certainly have no problem finding a starting point. Since my interests range far and wide and I find inspiration in so many things that they are too many to list here, that too is not a problem.
Once I perfected the art of it, though, I decided the only thing I can do with it, is to walk away. I just have to deny it’s even there and look the other way, because otherwise it’ll just suck me in and won’t let go and I will never get anything done, which is absolutely and utterly unacceptable.
I will continue to loose ideas and some quite possibly for good. Maybe they weren’t meant to be mine then. But some will get stuck with me and hopefully I’ll be able to make enough of them to not have them regret sticking with me and not telling all the other ideas floating about that I should be avoided.
So far, so good.