I think the most ironic part of writing is the whole process of inspiration. I know most writers have been in the situation where you are in the middle of something at work or you are running an important errand and then all of a sudden an inspiration for that next book or article comes along. Did it come when you were focused and brainstorming? Nope. Did it come along while you were outlining? No again.
I have found that my inspirtation always comes when I am not equipped to act on it. I even have a notebook with me for these moments, however many times you can’t just stop what is going on. So why does this happen?
Research from an article I read in Psychology today suggest that not only are we more creative when we least expect it, but we come up with creative answers when we are least alert or not totally focoused on coming up with an idea. Maybe trying too hard creates a block for us rather than a quick solution. Could this be why some of our best ideas come just as we are falling asleep?
So, what can we do to harvest those fleeting inspirations that are just too good to miss? One idea is that if you aren’t able to jot down your ideas ( maybe you are in a car or you are without a pen and paper) you can use your phone’s voice recorder to campture the inspirational moment. Another idea is if your inspiratioal was visual, take a photograph of what inspired your idea.
Just like writing itself is a creative action, capturing that fleeting muse takes creativity as well. What are your ideas to capturing an idea when you aren’t able to jot it down?