If I don't write this down RIGHT NOW, I'll forget.
When co-workers stop me in the hall and ask me for something, I tell them "email me" or I'll forget by the time I get back to my desk. Or thirty seconds after I walk away from them Or as they are talking to me.
My memory has never been that great, it's a family trait. Sometimes I joke with my husband: "What are the symptoms of alzheimer's and, uh, who are you again?"
It's not funny, I know, there are several people who suffer from the disease, but I find more and more that family and friends tell me stories about things I've done in my life that somehow I can't seem to retrieve from my memory bank. "Well, did I have fun, at least?" I ask them.
That's why I'm never without my phone (love my notes app) or a tiny notepad and a pen (love my pens). If something important strikes, I need to type or scrawl it down before it slips away. I have to harness the ideas I get immediately or they'll be gone forever. People ask me where I get my ideas. I don't get them as much as they "get" me. They get me on the way to work, while I'm watching a movie, while I'm reading, walking the mall or listening to a podcast.
Inspiration is a funny thing. I find it's when I'm away from my computer, away from writing, that I am most inspired. Sometimes having a day job that keeps you from writing, can be a good thing (I guess). As much as I would like to be a full time writer, I imagine I'd sit in front of the screen all day waiting for inspiration to hit me and I would never achieve it. But keep me from the laptop, and the stories I've started, and I'm bursting with ideas and can't drive fast enough to get home to flush them out in a chapter or two or three.
I've been listening to quite a few creative podcasts lately. One I enjoy quite a bit is Write Against the Machine. I love their banter and candor as Mary and Ellie talk about everything from writing about sex, to my most recent listen, regarding inspiration.
The podcast about inspiration mentions the TED Talk with Elizabeth Gilbert where she speaks about the creative genius and in particular, about a poet named Ruth Stone who describes her inspiration to write a poem as "a thunderous train of air, that would come barreling over the landscape…she knew she had only one thing to do at that point and that was to 'run like hell.'…she had to get to a piece of paper and a pencil fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page."
It's the Muse. They show up when you least expect it. I've written about the so-called Muse I have in prior blogs. On September 5th, 2012 I wrote about "when it hits you" and on October 15th, 2012 I shake my finger at the "fickle muse". And now, as I am on the verge of beginning my second NaNoWriMo challenge, I wonder if the Muse will be there with me along the way. She certainly has been knocking on my door a lot lately, and I find that I'm constantly scribbling notes or praying the Siri function on my phone knows that when I bark out my ideas, I'm not making up some recipe for chicken nachos, as it always seems to translate to lately. I hope the Muse doesn't think November is going to be a month where she can slack off, just because it's a holiday month, and Christmas is coming.
I have 50,000 words to get on the page in 30 days. It can be a daunting task. But with the amount of writing I 've been doing lately, and I hope this doesn't jinx it, I don't see 50,000 as being all that huge of a goal. I say that now, but with my luck, Miss Fancy-Pants Muse probably just booked herself a cruise outta here.
Until December 1st, track my progress on Facebook.com/KellyDuffWrites.