Updated: Jun 28, 2020
Hello, my readers. I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy!
Today, I’d like to talk about when creative inspiration tends to strike the hardest. Or perhaps more importantly, where.
One thing I’ve learned as a writer, or any type of creative person, is that it's becoming increasingly obvious that our ideas are conspiring to kill us. I mean, it’s practically full on, CSI: Creativity, up in my brain. Think about the evidence. When does a plot device tend to pop into your head? If you said “often while driving”, then you’re like me. But if you’re also like me, then you know that’s a very inconvenient time to have a eureka moment. Because what happens when we have a great idea? Well, we don’t want to forget said idea. But what also happens when you have a poor memory and thus a need to record the idea somewhere before it goes POOF? Well… you see where this is going. That whole texting and driving thing? Chances are, I’m not texting. Chances are I’m trying to work the recorder on my phone because dangit there’s a brilliant nuance to my character that I just can’t forget. [Yes, obviously, this is bad. Bad bad bad. Kids, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. I am weak and a poor example.]
Now, where’s the second most inconvenient/common place to suffer a sudden stroke of creative genius? If you said, “While I’m trying to fall asleep,” then you are also like me. When you catch me during what I call “peak creativity weeks”, aka those intermittent weeks where writer’s block is a thing of the past and new plot devices haunt you at the most inconvenient of times, you’ll often find me with a notebook next to my bed for sleepytime recording. Of course, waking up repeatedly to use said notebook so you don’t lose the idea by morning isn’t exactly a hindrance to insomnia. In fact, I'm sure my insomnia must cackle with glee every time it sees that blasted notebook come out. So now that sadistic jerk known as Creativity is using the sleep deprivation torture method.
And what is it about our brains anyway that they become most active in those moments when they’re supposed to be the quietest? The likely answer is, those are the few true moments when we have our thoughts to ourselves, and our thoughts get a little worked up, and go “WE HAVE HER ATTENTION, look what we can do, Ma! WEEEE!”
Finally, the third most common place to have a creativity attack? The shower, naturally. So we then have to scramble soaking wet across a treacherous, slippery tile floor to jot our ideas down while that bully Creativity points a finger and goes HAHA!
Note that with Covid-19 restrictions and a desire to remain germ-free, I'm also getting a lot more time alone with my thoughts at home. So mercifully, the one silver lining to 2020 so far has been ideas striking at slightly less inconvenient (and treacherous) times.
So the question I have for my fellow creative types is, when do your ideas most commonly strike? And how do you deal with them? Likely better than me, I hope.
Until next time,