Today’s Guest Blogger : Desiree Bowie (Editor & Writer)
I’ve always had to go toe-to-toe, round-for-round with inspiration. I’d have brilliant moments featuring what I thought was a groundbreaking way to spin a tale while walking through the mall or during a duller than life staff meeting, but by the time I out pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard the brilliance was gone. By my count, I have lost close to 5,387 amazing, life-changing creative ideas all because I took the muse for granted. And while you may think, “5,387, my dear you have quite the penchant for exaggeration.” I’d say you were probably correct in some aspects but when it comes to a missed opportunity in the form of an idea, I’ve probably missed triple that amount. Think of all the “lightbulb moments” you’ve had with regards to your writing. Think of all the times you had an epiphany in the bathroom, at the burger stand, or while waiting in line to buy gas. How many of those times had you actually stopped and followed that idea?
It was late one night, too late, when after an hour of tossing and turning, I had an idea for a screenplay. Instead of convincing myself to be a responsible adult and forcing my way into sleep, I turned the lights on, grabbed my laptop and started typing away. I typed until there were fumes. I didn’t think about spellcheck and missing words, or grammatical correctness, I just needed to get every little bit out. Like creative spring-cleaning of the mind. For whatever reason, my best ideas come when I should be deep inside my REM cycle, so instead of lying there counting sheep (or Channing Tatums) I grabbed my phone, open the memo app and get that idea out of my head and into a space where I can play with it when I’ve had rest.
Pushing the muse aside, putting her on the backburner does nothing but give you a terrible case of the coulda, woulda, shouldas. I’ve spent too much time moping about losing a great idea, or desperately wishing I could jumpstart a creative spark for my blank page. While we may not always be able to drop everything and write it out, it only takes a minute or two to write that idea on a piece of paper or text it to yourself. Now when my writer’s sense tingles, I stop, drop and acknowledge it and you should too. Who knows where that lightbulb moment could take you?