Why do the writing gods have to play such mischief with writers? I mean, come on; why do so many of our greatest ideas, or at least what we think are our greatest ideas at the time, so often come to us when we have no ability to record them? Some notions are so fleeting that even a few seconds delay in jotting them down, or otherwise recording them, can result in the muse sucking the idea back into her inspirational source. The muses are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne the goddess of memory. The irony is fantastic.
I commute to work everyday by motorcycle. Riding inspires me, but riding also provides me no ability, other than to try to hold it in my sieve-like mind, to record my inspirations. How cruel my muse.
I’ll be riding, enjoying the wind, the mountains, the sights, when suddenly, in a mini-eureka moment, an idea will flash in my mind. I’ll try to hook the idea with some memory techniques I’ve learned over the years, but too often the hook fails to set. I can’t recall the number of times I don’t even try those tricks; I simply convince myself I’ll remember the idea—you know; because it’s so damned brilliant—(yeah, right), but it’s fifty-fifty at best. As likely as not, poof! It’s gone as it came back to the ether.
Do I have an answer to this phenomenon, great ideas filling your mind when your open water swimming in a lake or ocean, skydiving, riding a motorcycle, running, showering, whatever…you get my point, no I don’t.
It’s just a fact of the writer’s life that many of the things we do, which provide us with the most inspiration, are often things that provide us little ability to record our ideas in order to make use of them later. I suppose even the writing gods need a laugh now and then—apparently my muse certainly does.