The Shower Of Ideas
I should listen to my own advice more often, I really should. But I guess this time I kind of did listen.
You see, I always tell clients and friends to use the unexpected moments of inspiration for their writings, and online updates. To carry a note book, or use the notes option of a portable device, so that they can put the inspiration into black-and-white straight away. That way, they use their flow, life’s natural energy, to get their message across. That way, the message doesn’t seem forced or created with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. That way, it’s a sparkling, an enthusiastic and a spur-of-the-moment-message (even when you save it to be published at a later moment!). Great advice, right?
Now here’s what happened to me.
As I have mentioned before, I participate and work with Marja Godvliet’s Women Entrepreneur Club, and the other day I enthusiastically proposed to create a new social media workshop for them. My proposal was well received, and as I got out of the Skype call we were all in, it dawned on me. I had set myself up for a “new” social media workshop, so not the one I had gotten used to, and I asked myself what on earth this “new” workshop should look like. It’s not due until three weeks from now, though, so plenty of time. I let the thought of it go, and forgot about it.
The next morning I woke up, did my morning routine, and as I was having breakfast the first idea for the “new” social media workshop popped up. I liked it, but figured I would remember it – no writing down needed. Then another idea popped up. The roots of each of those ideas began to grow, meaning I started to build a story around them, and I realized I would lose those thoughts if I didn’t jolt something down quickly. I grabbed the piece of paper that lay next to me, which turned out to be a supermarket receipt, and wrote the basics of the two ideas down. Then I went into the shower.
Whilst taking a shower, I wasn’t just blessed with a whole lot of warm water coming down on me. I was blessed with one idea after another, each immediately growing roots, and they came in so quickly! By this time, I was almost panicking, because I wasn’t writing anything down. So I quickly got out of the shower, put a towel around me, grabbed another piece of paper, and started writing. It was the strangest thing. The ideas kept going round and round in my head, until I got them down on paper. I was writing as fast as I could, trying to make sense to myself, and all of a sudden it stopped. As pressing as the ideas had felt before, all was calm now. I had written everything down, and though my hand was still hovering over the paper, nothing came out anymore. It was done.
I gazed at the paper, filled with my scribbles, and I felt empty and fulfilled at the same time. The job was done, the ideas for the social media workshop were all there, and that was that.
Well, not quite. When I spoke to Marja later that day, she gave me feedback on the ideas I had written down, and they did require some adjusting. Just because the ideas came to me in such quantity, doesn’t necessarily imply they’re of the best quality.
Besides taking my own advice, what did I learn?
1. When you set yourself up for something that actually scares you, don’t worry. The idea(s) / solution(s) will come.
2. Instead of worrying, ask yourself a question: “What would I like it to be?”
3. Let go.
4. Once the ideas do start rolling in, write them down straight away.
5. After the first excitement, revisit your ideas, and be willing to make adjustments.
Now if I could just figure out a way to record those ideas that come in the shower…