I’ve often wondered how the creative spark knows when to strike. Is it really the Muses? Do they sit back and watch us poor struggling writers and then go BAM (ala Emeril Lagasse style)? I imagine they then switch to their best Oprah impression and declare everyone a winner of some new idea, whether it’s a fabulous one or not. Whomever is responsible, I’d like to request inspiration wait to hit me until I’m out of the shower. I do receive a lot of late night inspiration, so I’m going to assign those ideas to the Muses and assign my poor mal-functioning, un-caffeinated brain the responsibility of shower ideas.
Perhaps I’ve trained my brain to create in response to the sound of rushing water and like Pavlov’s dog response to a bell, water equals ideas. I, of course, think all of the ideas are genius and curse at myself for not having thought of it sooner. Some arrive fully fleshed out! Characters show up and engage in witty conversation and I know it’s dialogue for some project I’m working on. If my neighbors could hear me they’d certainly think I’m mental. My family doesn’t count; they’ve already heard about many of these conversations and they’re stuck with me.
There’s only a small, tiny problem. There’s no way to write it down fast enough. My brain powerwalks to the next idea like I do when I see cake put out at a function. Not only is my brain excited and devours a new idea, it aptly forgets what it was doing beforehand. I come out of the shower sparkling clean from triple hair washes and frustrated from lost ideas.
I’ve rushed out to write something down before, but soggy paper and especially a soggy phone are not ideal. I also have a cat whom I feel finds perverse joy in tripping or swiping at me to show her love of being adopted. I remember another author once saying she had the same problem, so she took to writing on her mirror and shower walls with lipstick and an eyeliner pencil. Her partner questioned some of the notes left behind when they described fight or murder scenes. I’m pretty certain I’d run into the same thing. Not to mention I hate cleaning and it would take daily elbow grease to clean it all up. There’s a possibility it would look like a crazy person’s stay in a psych ward.
So, dear Muses or sleepy brain or the person supplying the creative spark, now that I’ve harassed you and complained about your visits. Please don’t stop. But, if I could have tiny wish, please just alter your visitation plans. Or drop me some memory exercises so I can retain all the good ideas, not just the well cleaned hair.