Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. — Carl Sagan
Ideas are everywhere. They find you when you’re on a walk, a drive or in the shower. I often get ideas when I’m rinsing twice.
So I keep a pad and pen on the bathroom sink. Maybe one day someone will invent a waterproof notebook I can use in the shower. But until then, I have to say my ideas out loud to remember them while shampooing. Otherwise, they disappear down the drain with the suds.
Saying ideas out loud helps me remember them until I can write them down.
It’s frustrating getting ideas at inconvenient times like when I’m driving. As soon as I get in the car, it’s showtime!
What if you back into the garage door before opening it? Oh, that really happened.
Don’t forget to open the garage door before backing out!
I use the voice memo app on my phone to catch my racing thoughts instead of chasing after them in the car. I can’t use them as an excuse if a cop stops me for speeding.
COP: Why were you speeding?
ME: I was chasing after my racing thoughts.
Cop hands me a ticket as my thoughts speed off.
That’s why you should always chase after thoughts responsibly.
Being creative and getting ideas is a lot like a Medium dogged by drop-in ghosts.
GHOST: Hello! I know you can see me.
MEDIUM: Leave me alone. I’m busy!
GHOST: I’m still waiting to speak to my daughter.
MEDIUM: Come back when I’m out of the shower.
It’s annoying when spirits harass you about their unfinished business: “I left the water running in the bathroom;” “I forgot to tip the waiter;” “Are my kids wearing jackets?”
Blah, blah, blah. It’s like that with ideas; they constantly harangue you like spirit telemarketers, except you can’t complain about them to the FCC.
But you can learn how to manage ideas as a Medium does with ghosts.
Dealing With Drop-Ins
You can manage ideas that drop-in unexpectedly by writing them down when you’re busy with day-to-day terrestrial stuff. Sometimes if you can’t save an idea, it loops back again when something triggers a reminder, but not always.
That’s why I keep a notebook with me wherever I go: the bathroom, work, bed, especially bedtime. That’s when ideas tap you on the shoulder and say, “Stop snoring!”
Oh, that’s my husband!
Ideas usually whisper in my head (not my ear) while my thoughts take off on a pre-sleep romp.
Did I lock the door? I think so.
Click. Click. Click. What’s that sound? Dog toenails on the hardwood floor? Dutch burglar wearing wooden clogs?
We need food. The shelves in the refrigerator are bare…
What if there was fridge outerwear: Butter Babushkas, Soda Down Coats, Gouda Goulashes…
Bedtime is rush hour for ideas. — We’re rubberneckers watching thoughts slip by on the peripheral of unconsciousness until our brain fades to black.
As soon as we open our eyes the next morning, the thoughts start all over again.
What was that idea I had last night? Bubba what. Bubba Boo. Bub, yah gotta stop blocking the fridge. I’m hungry!
Grab your notebook and get out of bed! It’s time for terrestrial stuff.
“In The Zone” Thinking
Creatives think on a different level of consciousness because they allow their thoughts to run free. But you don’t have to be intrinsically creative to take off on a head-trip. You have to untether your thoughts from the things in life that weigh them down.
When you’re alone on the couch, stare out the window instead of reaching for the remote. Let your thoughts float with the clouds and see where they go.
They can reach the stratosphere if you let them. That’s when you’re “in the zone,” the place where thoughts morph into extraordinary creative expression or the next big idea.
If you catch an idea, don’t let it go. It might not come back again. Inscribe it on a notebook placed on your nightstand, kitchen table or wherever you end up during the day. You don’t want to lose one that might be a keeper.
Ideas are exhilarating perks of life: fodder for creative expression, spontaneous sparks that animate art. Ideas are part of who you are. Without them, your life’s just another knockoff brand.