I was having a lovely day yesterday with my children. The baby was in a delightful mood and my eldest son was all earnestness and wanting to please; the sun was out and we were able to all play outside for a while. When that got old, we went back inside, the baby had a nap and my son started reading his new Dr Seuss book aloud.
Then it happened. Inspiration struck.
This wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill inspiration, either, where you get a few ideas for scenes or the perfect bit of dialogue. This was changes-the-whole-novel-for-the-better inspiration. This was significant.
I’m all for being inspired. God only knows that I’ve been neglecting my manuscript lately, what with school holidays and public holidays and any number of other things that have been occupying what had previously been writing time. But I have been thinking about it more over recent days, working through plot holes in my head, figuring out the best order for the events in my story (does the baby come before or after the engagement, for example) and getting back into the heads of my main characters. I even found myself dreaming about them, which is always a good sign. However, I wasn’t prepared for inspiration just then. It was a bad time. You know, inconvenient.
All was not lost, however. I grabbed my notebook and started scribbling madly, trying to make sure that I didn’t lose the ideas. As I mentioned above, it was one of those uncanny, feverish type of inspirations, when things just start falling together and you know that a significant hurdle has been overcome. I couldn’t write things down fast enough.
Of course, real life was going to be a factor. Yes, the baby was in bed, but from having Dr Seuss in one ear I can see a few idiosyncrasies in my notes this morning. I suppose this was always going to happen when I’m writing a scene of high tension yet all I can hear is that if you want to go bump, bump, then you should jump on the hump of the Wump of Gump.
As such, I have some deciphering to do this morning. For example, “Ned” appeared in my notes, yet I have no character by that name. He was in the Dr Seuss book, though, so I think I can safely scribble him out. The Yanz that opens cans can also, I think, be eliminated. Yet there are other things which I’m not really sure about, whether they were from my head or the book I was listening to, so I’m going to have to do some thinking about those. I have set aside much of today, though, to do this. No, it’s not my usual Writing Day, but hopefully my mind is still close enough to where it was yesterday to make sense of my scribblings and make some real progress.
So, what do you do when inspiration strikes at an inconvenient time? How do you make sure you don’t forget any brainwaves that come when you’re doing anything other than writing? I think I survived yesterday’s onslaught intact, but if anyone has any bright ideas about what to do next time (Dr Seuss notwithstanding), I’d love to hear them. :)
- Soul seduction: my top creativity and inspiration boosters (compulsivescribe.wordpress.com)
- Dr. Seuss knew all along… (mymanicmoments.wordpress.com)
- The inconvenience of ideas (chellelandia.wordpress.com)