The day is spent. It’s time to wind down into evening, to slow the constant buzzing in my mind, and most nights I can do this with a good book, a hot bath, and the occasional indulgence of a sip of bourbon or wine. It never fails that almost every time I lower myself into that hot bubbled water, a new door opens in my imagination and a flood of words pour through my head, tumbling over one another so fast I can barely grasp what they are saying. Some of my best writing ideas come when I am in the tub, at work, on the bus, in a meeting, on stage or out walking. It is often in the most inconvenient places when inspiration is ignited – being prepared to catch it when it is released is one our jobs as writers, but sometimes it’s not always meant to be.
Inspiration strikes at the most inopportune times and through our writing journey, we have to learn to be crafty enough to grab it by its tail and hang on – if it’s meant to be caught. There are always times when an idea hits and I am unable to snag it. Sometimes hours can pass before I have an opportunity to write it down. If the idea is sturdy and robust, it will be trapped in the creative net of my imagination, patiently waiting for me to claim it; if it’s weak and fragmented, it will slip through the webbing, leaving me with an empty awareness of what could have been.
I have come to accept that if the idea was strong enough, if it was meant for me, it will always be there waiting – if I don’t remember it later, it has moved on to someone else. The world is bursting with ideas, and I take comfort in knowing that if one of them escapes from me, another one will soon come to take its place.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
Love this! So true!
Thank you 🙂 Lovely to have you.
This is so incredibly true. Infuriatingly so, I might add. I especially relate to what you wrote that “Inspiration strikes at the most inopportune times”. I feel like my brain is constantly talking and it’s my job to sort out the drivel from the potential little nuggets of gold – or at least tiny slivers or something worth exploring. Yet I often feel that I lose my grasp on an idea, a thought, that has merit and then completely forget about it…maybe that’s the whole catch and release challenge here…
I think if an idea is meant to be yours it will stick with you – if not, there’s probably a better idea waiting in the wings. I love how you describe catching an idea as “tiny slivers worth exploring”. The notion that if an idea is meant to be, will be caught in your skin until its ready to be written. Thank you for your comment. Happy writing 🙂