Posted by Carrie Fulk Vaughn
Inspiration strikes me frequently. I have “good” ideas pop into my head all the time and I am always amazed at my creativity when it sprouts and buds, giving me brilliant ideas to mull on for at least a few minutes, if not a few days. Unfortunately, these ideas always come at the most inopportune moments. I’m struck by an idea by something I see on the street while I’m stopped at a light and it seems like a brilliant idea! Excellent! In driving through crazy hectic traffic, however, I often forget by the time I get home.
I am also extremely forgetful.
My greatest creative bursts always happen while I’m at work. I’m stuck in a little room for an hour or two at a time in low light with soft music and someone who is most likely snoring as opposed to talking. I have plenty of time, in amongst the normal mental exercises of my job, to let my mind wander while I focus on a particular area. This is when I come up with some of my brightest ideas or something that I want to think further on. Like in traffic, however, with the focus my job takes and then escorting the client out, bringing another in for four hours in a row and all the little niceties we do for our clients, I often forget.
I am also extremely forgetful.
Sometimes I’m actually blessed with an idea within a reasonable amount of time to write it down. I might actually have a rare moment of brain power and remember my idea through all the meeting and greeting with my clients and jot it on a piece of paper, stuffing it in my pocket to take home. I don’t have to force myself to try and remember what I’ve been thinking! It’s on paper and safely in my pocket so I can take it home, put it in my notes folder for later and have it when I sit down to plot. It generally ends up shredded in the washer and dryer because I leave it in my pocket and then do laundry.
I am also … hey, have I said before that I’m forgetful?
I’ve heard the suggestion said many times to carry a personal recorder with you to make voice notes for later when you come up with ideas. While I was driving, this was keen because I could make notes during my two hour commute. I made a lot of voice notes and I even remembered to look for a recorder that kept a battery backup in case I forgot to change the battery right away. It was digital so I wouldn’t forget the tapes and it had a cable to hook it up to the computer so I could download the content. I lost everything when I forgot to change the battery for too long, exhausted the battery backup.
I also tried taking memory supplements, but those didn’t last long because I forgot to take them after a short period of time. I tried setting alarms, but those weren’t consistent with a changing work schedule.
I am apparently not at the right place at the right time when ideas come to me. Right now I carry a composition book with me everywhere and have a stash of several pens I keep in my bag. When something strikes me, sometimes I remember to write it down now. It’s hit or miss, but at least it’s something. Some of the ideas I only vaguely remember don’t seem like such good ideas now. Sometimes I think losing them might have actually been a good idea after all.