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When good ideas come at bad times

May 20, 2013

That’s really me. I especially love how the wind combs itself through my hair.

I ran ten miles this morning and–

Okay, not another exercise metaphor for writing, please. PLEASE.

Relax. It’s not.

I ran ten miles this morning. Running’s a great way to let the mind go on autopilot. You fall into a sort of trance where there’s just you and the trail and, sometimes, the realization that it’s four miles back to the car and you got to cover that space to get there.

It was someplace between mile six and eight that I had a great idea–an awesome idea for a blog post. It was potentially the best idea ever for the best blog post ever. I was excited about it. Then I passed the mile marker that said I only had a mile and a half to go and my mind wandered off to other things. And I forgot that I’d even had an idea until I sat down the computer.

I’m not the first one this has happened to. My grandfather kept having these amazing dreams, but he’d forget what they were. So my grandmother told him to put a pad of paper and pencil by the bed so he could write it down when he first woke up. So he went to bed and had the dream, then woke up and wrote it down and went back to sleep. When he woke up the next morning, the pad was blank. He dreamed that he had the dream and wrote it down.

I’ve had ideas before when it’s not handy to write them down. It’s kind of hard to keep a pad of paper in the shower. And if you’re in the throes of passion and an idea pops into your head it’s bad form to ask your partner to wait a second while you write down the thought you just had.

It’s not my fault my muse only speaks to me when the kids are asleep.

Same thing if you’re about to receive communion.

“The body of Christ.”

“Hold on Father, I just got an idea that’s going to fix my plot problem.”

For the record, my cell phone has a voice recording feature, which I will use next time. That handles the running thing. The rest, I’ll just have to live with.

Do you have any tricks for remembering great ideas that come to you at inopportune times.

  1. chriscoward2012 permalink
    May 20, 2013 7:42 am

    Yes! So true! I have a trick for remembering great ideas that come at inopportune times. It’s…uh, I knew it a minute ago. Let me check my Post-It wall. That’s it. My trick is Post-Its. Everywhere.

  2. May 20, 2013 9:13 am

    I use the memo function in my phone to keep lists/reminders. Except when I’m in the shower, of course…

  3. May 20, 2013 11:02 am

    This happens to me daily! I use evernote and sync it everywhere. I use my voice memos when driving. The good ideas form when I’m doing something else but the BEST ideas come right in the middle of executing my good ideas and that IS frustrating đŸ˜‰ I’ve learned to let them go and hope that if they truly love me, they’ll hang around!

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