Whether you are out of your office for a vacation, business trip, local shopping, visits with family or friends, or going for a walk around the block, do you notice ideas often surface that you struggle to intentally access when sitting in front of your computer for a predefined writing session? If so, you are not alone in that experience. What do you do to capture the ideas, much less to honor them?
There is a rhythm, a flow that occurs when you are in motion and in a different environment. It's not uncommon to hear someone comment about getting some of their best ideas in the shower or in the middle of the night when sleeping. Maybe you have said such things yourself.
While there are certain physiological and psychological reasons this happens, take a practical and simple approach to make the most of all of that. You may think you'll remember it later. Even if you do, why not make it easy to open up space for more ideas to come to mind by recording the current idea now rather than risking it evaporating or struggling to remember it later?
Yes, your bite size brilliance comes to mind when you are out and about physically, mentally, or both. Accept that for what it is – brilliance that warrants your attention. Then capture it – now.
1. Capture the raw unpolished seed of the idea the soonest moment you can. All you need is just enough so it will trigger your thinking later when you are ready to refine and embellish it.
2. Use whatever method or methods that are immediately available to you. That can be anything from recording the tidbit by voice or as a text or a note on your smart phone to jotting something down on a torn snippet of paper in your purse or pocket.
3. Have hard copy and digital recording methods easily accessible so you do not have to hunt for something when an idea comes to mind. A writing instrument and a small pad of paper in each room of your home or office (yes EACH room), in your car, in your back pack, or anything else you carry makes an ideal back-up if your cell phone ran out of battery power or is otherwise unavailable.
4. Centralize the random ideas into a folder on your computer as soon as possible.The audio messages need to be transcribed so you can shape and manage all the information from your various sources when you're ready.
5. Shape the information into how-to tips and then into categories. You are well on the way to finishing a document that can be sold, shared, or both. An introduction, some information about your background, and contact information for reaching you complete the manuscript.
ACTION – Notice the wealth of ideas that come to you when you are not sitting at your desk. Move around, especially when you are feeling stuck, bored, or uninspired. Regardless of your power of concentration, your innate level of diligence, or even a deadline you may be on, you will accomplish more by mixing things up in your physical and psychological environment.