This morning inspiration struck while I was in the shower. I quickly dried off, threw on my robe and ran to the office where Mr. Ng was sitting at my laptop. “I have a thought!” I called out. “I need to write!” “I’m looking for work!” my husband called back, “work trumps thoughts. ” I rummaged around the office until I found a pen and Post It to write down my brilliant idea so I wouldn’t forget. Inspiration shouldn’t get in the way of an recently laid off man on a mission.
Have you ever noticed how you get the best ideas when you’re no where near a laptop or paper and pen? I have notepads in every bag and on almost every surface, but I don’t get ideas when tools are at the ready.
Plenty of ideas come when I’m sleeping, though. Yes, I have a notebook and pen on my nightstand, but to write down my thoughts is to turn on the light and wake Mr. Ng. I try to avoid this at all costs. Spending time with Captain Cranklypants isn’t conducive to a good brainstorming session. Instead I fumbled around and stumble around until I find a place where I can write without rousing the family, except by then it’s usually too late and I lose it. Sleepy inspiration is easily lost.
I’m not sure if you know this but the local police don’t take too kindly to side of the road brainstorming, even when showing good driving etiquette by putting on your hazard lights. I can tell you from experience, “Honestly Officer, I only pulled over on the side of this busy freeway because I needed to write down my ideas so I won’t forget,” won’t always fly. Inspiration is inconvenient and can cause tickets.
I remember riding home from a visit with the in laws in Queens one evening when inspiration hit. I had the perfect lead in to an article bouncing around in my head. I searched my purse, my son’s stash and the car to no avail. Not wanting to lose the sentence I repeated it over and over like a mantra. Soon my son was playing along. Mr. Ng in the driver’s seat wasn’t so amused. By the time I got home and wrote down my sentence I was over it. Inspiration is so inconvenient.
Then there was the time at a meeting of a local women’s group. It was the first meeting of the season and I, as the President, had door duty so I could greet our esteemed guests and members. On my drive over, a light bulb went off in my head and I wrote my idea on the palm of my hand during a traffic light stop. I planned on transferring my brilliant idea into a notebook when I got to the clubhouse, but I forgot. By the time I remembered, I had spent an hour shaking hands and the words were gone. To this day, I’m not sure the Mayor knows what happened to her hand. Inspiration causes blue handshakes.
I can tell you I’m always prepared for when the light bulbs go off. I can also tell you the light bulbs mostly go off during the rare occasions when they I’m not so prepared. I’ve talked into a tape recorder at the supermarket, wrote on a napkin in a restaurant and even sullied the blank last page of a paperback book I was reading on the subway, all in the name of inspiration.
Inspiration is so inconvenient, but it’s ever so rewarding.