Have you ever wakened in the morning with a story idea in your head? Did you capture it right away or did you decide to wait and write it down when you’re more awake, sure you will remember it? How many times have you lost a great idea with not a clue as to what it was?
How many of your dreams have you known would make great stories, but as soon as you are fully out of that sleep the whole scenario has faded away never to return?
Muse departed. Opportunity lost.
Paper and pen are by my bed for just that reason. There are times I have wakened very early, a poem or the beginning of a story in my head. I know I would not remember later what was in my mind. Just this morning as I was waking from a dream, I was thinking that it would make a nice story. When I closed my eyes again for just a few moments the vision started to fade, so I hastily jotted down what I could recall, some already lost. The ‘feelings’ around such things that come in that way quickly dissipate so that the opportunity has to be grabbed right then.
Now, how many tales have you made up and told to a child – maybe as a bedtime story, or at a time the child needs to be distracted or comforted? Or have you simply thought it all out in your mind for the fun of it? Did you write it down or did you not see its value? Or maybe you were driving, or in a place where you can’t write anything? A friend told me that she recently was in a public washroom when a story idea hit and … well … her idea escaped. That’s the thing about a creative’s mind … always busy, always dreaming, always thinking.
My dear mother was very creative. She used to tell me that many years before, when she lived with some cousins, she would help get the youngest one to bed each night. Her cousin loved for Mum to put her to bed because then she’d get a bedtime story, Mum making it up as she went along. Each night would be a continuation of the night before, and usually with humour in the story. Mum often told me that she wished she’d been able to write them down because they were such cute stories, but years later she couldn’t remember them.
For over thirty years Mum was a schoolteacher, and after her passing my sister came across a story Mum had written for a summer course she had taken many years before. I remember that she was so pleased about getting a good mark on that project. This story we have that she created is now in my care, Dad would love to see it published.
Recently joining a picture book critique group, I submitted her story for their viewing and frank opinions. The responses have been very positive, and I’m sure I have felt Mum’s pleasure with their comments and suggestions.
May I suggest to you …
When you come up with an idea, write it down. When your Muse visits, pay attention and take notes. Such ideas fade quickly, story details lose themselves in our busyness, whole stories are lost – maybe whole worlds.
So … what do you do about ideas that come when least expected? Are you always prepared to capture them or do you take a chance that you will remember?
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!