Thursday, October 3, 2013

When Inspiration Hits

Empty space. Dead air. Numb and void. Call it what you want, but my mind went completely blank for a few months during the summer. I tried sitting down to write, but every time I did, my thoughts seemed to wander everywhere but to the paper in front of me. I began to wonder what was wrong with me? Why was it so hard to think of even the basic idea to blog about, something that would be interesting to both the reader and me? Even brainstorming was difficult. I had been taught that one way to open up the creative flow was to write down whatever came to mind and naturally it would go in the direction I wanted. It was a bunch of hogwash. Whoever came up with that idea did not have five children running around. All I ended up with was a bunch of figure eights, some hearts, and a huge shopping list of food I needed to buy. 
I thought all was lost. I thought to myself that it would be a sad day indeed when I could no longer include myself in the writer's category if I ever needed to sign up on a new social media site or website. But then it happened. The moment of wonderful bliss when sudden inspiration hits and the light bulb turns on over your head! The "Aha!" moment during the day when you least expect it, or even during the middle of the night when you wake up and know exactly what you should say or write about. 
It happened to me again today. I was simply walking along the parking lot, minding my own business when 'BAM!' I saw something that sparked the imagination and it set my mind a running full steam ahead. It was as if I had drank one of those high energy drinks and the creative juices started flowing into every fiber of my being. That is all it takes! And I love it! It is almost as if someone took their finger and gave my brain a quick flick, shaking up the ideas inside that had settled on the bottom, kind of like a snow globe. It never fails to awe me how it all works out. I love how God can help me see a simple thing in nature, or the expression of a playful child that sparks an idea in my otherwise dead brain, and it sends me scrambling to my keyboard to put it all into words before I forget. 
Now, there are plenty of times when inspiration hits and I do not have anything near me that I can write on. It happens to me in the shower quite often...the shower and the car. I have learned to keep a notepad and pen in my bathroom and as soon as my hands are dry enough not to drench my paper, I write my ideas down while they are still fresh in my mind. I even have a mini tape recorder for the times when I need to remember a song or ditty that came to me while washing my hair. As for the car, I keep a notepad in my purse for those rare moments when I am driving all alone. When the children are not there to distract me, I can focus on what is going on outside the car and see things I would not normally notice. Whoever made the law against texting while driving may be smart, but if they ever saw me making quick notes on my paper in the middle of the steering wheel, they might think to add to that safety list, "No writing while driving!"
The middle of the night is another time I get ideas. I have awakened many times at night and tried writing by the light of my alarm clock so I would not wake my husband or sleeping babies. I found I could not go back to sleep until the thoughts were safely written down on paper, even if it meant the words were unreadable in the morning.

Inspiration can come out of the blue when you least expect it. Always be prepared and have something to write on so you do not lose the moment. Even if you can not use it today, save it in a file or box for the future when you lack inspiration. It may be just what you need to keep that brain working smoothly and keep you on the right track of writing, if only to maintain that status in all the important websites you keep. God bless!        


  1. thanks for sharing your struggles; it was very helpful. I howled with laughter over the shopping list from letting your thoughts wander. :) I do stay prepared with paper and pencil near my bed, and also during prayer times, which is the worst time! But now I'll be looking for inspirations in the small situations.

  2. Great article, Cara! I, too, loved the part about figure-eights and hearts and grocery lists!
    I've also written by the amazingly dim 2-second-long light of my digital watch. Yes, I resemble these remarks, most definitely! ;)


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