I love ideas. They so often take on a life of their own. They can be shy and hide in the corners or underneath the bed. They can be hellishly rambunctious children, knocking over the furniture and tearing around the house until you finally do whatever it takes just to make them shut up. Ideas can whisper in your ear all night, making it difficult to close your eyes, no matter how tired you are, or they can walk quietly next to you all day long, making people wonder why you have “that look in your eye.” Oh yes, and they can also drop on your head from nowhere and box you over the ears with cymbals.
Right now, I just finished scribbling down a bunch of events and plot twists that are going to happen next in the story I’m working on. I never even thought of most of this until the ideas started marching through my brain, blaring trumpets and throwing candy and colorful beads off the parade float. So I scramble to grab as much as I can before it gets trampled and swept away.
What forms do your ideas take on? What do you have to do to satisfy them, the grubby little dears? Write them down? Promise them free rent if they hang around until you are ready to use them? Stick them in a safety deposit box at your local bank? Delicately pin them to corkboard so they are preserved forever?
I believe if you treat your imagination and ideas as living, organic things that grow along with you, you’ll be able to approach it in a more satisfying way than if you consider your imagination as some “idea pump” that you crank and out spouts the next plot point or character to splatter on the page. Respect this elusive part of your psyche. Feed it every day and let it run wild. You never know what it might bring back to drop on your doorstep. Maybe it’ll be a dead mouse today, maybe it’ll be a string of pearls tomorrow.
The fact is you never know when or how the ideas will come. That’s all part of the fun.
I see that smile.