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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Glimmer of an Idea

That glimmer of an idea, the one that won’t let you sleep, or focus on your family. It shimmers at the most annoying times, just out of reach. You can hear your brain scream as you try to snare that illusive thought. Stretching your gray matter, hoping to capture any essence of this magnificent idea before it slips away.

If you can lasso that runaway thought, form a solid, cohesive concept, you may just have the start of something brilliant. It’s the holding onto that hint of an idea which causes the brain scream.

I’ve tried the “carry around the notebook and pen” approach, but no idea ever forms when I’m prepared for it. Instead, it raps the inside of my skull every once in a while, reminding me it’s still there. Then the day comes, when it dislodges from the gray matter and bursts forth in full color.

If I don’t stop what I am doing the moment this happens, it’s lost. So now I scribble on whatever is available, usually on my arm. Sometimes my kids arm. Just a word or two is all it takes for me to remember. Then I race home, power up the laptop and tell the kids to fend for themselves for the rest of the night.

How do you do it?


  1. I keep fleshing out the spark till I can get to a notebook, or laptop. then I say good bye world and jump on the ride! :)

  2. You really captured that elusive feeling! I usually tie the new idea/concept/character to a strong visual image. I'm a very visual learner and a good artist, so I can more easily store images in my memory and tie those to descriptions. Strange, but that's how I do it!

  3. I basically write on whatever is nearby too. I used to carry a notepad around with me, but my current purse is so small and crammed. =)

  4. usually the concept stays in my head. I have one write now but I'm waiting for it to dislodge itself so I can start taking notes!

  5. I have to add, I just downloaded an app to my iPhone, Dragon Dictate. Problem may be solved!

  6. eloquent illustration.

    well done.

  7. I can not tell you how many times I have written things down on my hand. My 2nd graders think I am nutty.

    Sheila Staley : Reviewer & Writer
    Book reviews and Author Interviews at my blog at http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/

  8. I have to write it down, which is why there is a notepad and pen next to my bed, next to the couch where I sit, in my car and in my purse. Nice to "meet" you on the a-z challenge.

  9. Now that's a nice one. On your arm. I tend to use whatever papers are laying around. It's a miracle my house isn't buried under them.