Last Updated on: March 14th, 2019
Do you take action when you are hit with a moment of inspiration? You should… regardless of what you are doing!
Read on to find out why.
My Inspirational Nugget of Wisdom Once Disappeared
A few weeks ago, I had an idea for a blog post that I thought was simply brilliant. I went to the dashboard of my website, opened a “new” post, wrote something in the “title” field and a few sentences, then went to find some cool images to use in my post, and then… blanked out.
My idea did not get fully developed. My inspiration had disappeared. All I was left with was… a few really cool pictures that I found.
I was upset with myself. I knew I should have written down everything the moment my inspirational idea hit me.
Now, try as I might, I cannot retrieve that glimmering thought from the recesses of my brain.
I know I’m not alone
Has the same thing ever happened to you? Have you ever forgotten what you were going to say?
Have you ever gone into your office (or kitchen, or bedroom, or another room) to get something, and then “forgot” what you went there for?
(I can see you nodding.)
We’ve all been in that situation, I know. That is why you need to act IMMEDIATELY when you are hit with inspiration… so you DON’T forget.
Why You Should Act Immediately When Inspiration Hits
Our brains are like computers, but only to a point.
Although we have an information retrieval system, we tend to only remember that which is most familiar to us.
We struggle with “new” ideas, ideas that are “outside-of-the-box,” and ideas that bring us outside of our comfort zones.
This is why it is often difficult to “hold that thought” when we have it.
And this is why we should IMMEDIATELY write it down. So we don’t forget it!
In addition, when you are hit with inspiration and plan to write it (or about it) at a later time, chances are you will not remember your initial excitement, why you were so inspired, and so, when you finally do write about it, the magical feeling will have dissipated or disappeared completely.
Others have testified to this, too:
“When it finds you, act, don’t wait, act!”
– taken from Don’t go searching for inspiration
“I’ve learned over the years that if I don’t write these flashes of inspiration down straightaway, they’re usually gone forever, or even worse remembered but not understood in the same clarity of when they were received.”
– taken from When you are inspired – act immediately! (SOURCE LINK NO LONGER WORKS)
How to Act Immediately When Inspiration Hits
Because I don’t want this to happen to you (or to me… again!), I’ve put together a list of 5 actionable things to do to help you to remember your inspirational idea.
Do these 5 Actions When Hit with Inspiration
1. Write it down. Quickly. BEFORE you forget. Use Evernote. Use Post-Its. Record it… somehow!
“Ideas slowly trickle into your mind. And before you know it, you’re infused with passion and carried away in that magical state of ‘flow’ where the world fades away and nothing matters but you and the words in front of you.”
– taken from Kat Eden’s guest post on Write to Done: Why You Should Stop Waiting for Inspiration
2. Develop it as much as you can while the idea is fresh in your mind.
3. Don’t worry about sentence structure, grammar, editing your writing, or even typos! Get it out, onto paper or an electronic device, as fast as you can. There’ll be time enough later for refinement.
4. Record yourself speaking all of the thoughts that are entering your mind. It’s not going to make sense to anyone listening, but that’s okay. The recording is for you, not anyone else. You can play it later and use it as a tool to help you organize and develop it.
5. If you happen to be in the shower when inspiration hits, repeat the main idea to yourself and focus on it as much as possible until you can record it or make a note of it. If you prefer bathtubs to showers, keep a pen and notepad next to the tub so that you can capture your glimmering idea when you are hit with it.
“When I don’t have access to Evernote or Post-it Notes, I use repetition. I repeat key aspects of the blog idea until I’m able to jot down the idea. This isn’t the most reliable part of the system, but it works.”
– taken from How I Remember Ideas for Blog Posts
What Bloggers and Writers Do
Many bloggers and writers tend to keep an “Ideas Notebook” where they can record their ideas for blog posts, stories, or articles. But not everyone takes the time to develop their ideas in the moment.
“I looked at my list of blog post ideas from the past year and realized the majority of them were inspired by another event, article, or conversation I had. Many of them are still relevant, but they never got down on paper(or digital text in this case.) I could still write them today, but they wouldn’t have the same voice, the same drive, and the same excitement that they would have had months ago when the inspiration was there.”
– taken from Write It Down When the Inspiration Hits
Most writers also tend to be more aware of the memory-retrieval phenomena, too, and so generally grab napkins, pieces of scrap paper, tissues, cigarette packages, cardboard, envelopes, or even garbage to write on when they are suddenly struck with an idea that might be mined into a gem. They know – know – that they won’t be able to recall it at a later time and so write down as much as possible while they’re cognizant of their potential brilliance.
I’m not sure why I didn’t follow my own advice a few weeks ago. I’m still kicking myself.
But now we all have a good strategy to implement so that this doesn’t happen again.
Your Turn: What do YOU do when inspiration hits?
What other things can you do to ensure you WON’T forget your wonderful ideas?
Which practices do you currently use to keep track of your thoughts or concepts?
When and/or where does inspiration tend to hit YOU? (What kinds of activities are you doing? Where are you doing them?)
I love hearing from my readers!
See you in the comments!