Why should we jot the thought when it’s hot?
I’ll always be indebted to former National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones for teaching me why it’s smart to ink it when we think it.
Hall of Fame speaker Dewitt (who lives part-time in Hawaii and can be found online at http://www.DewittJones.com) and I were enjoying a walk/talk along a Maui beach discussing the topic of intuition.
What is intuition? Where does it come from? Why are those intuitive nudges never wrong? How can we capitalize on them?
Dewitt was doing something that puzzled me. We’d go about 100 yards and Dewitt would stop, whip out a little notebook and pen from his pocket and write something down. We’d go another couple hundred yards and Dewitt would stop again and scribble something else down. He kept doing this until I finally asked, “Dewitt, what are you doing?”
He said, “Sam, I used to get ideas and think, ‘That’d be an interesting tidbit for my next column,’ or ‘I’ve got to include that in my keynote tomorrow,’ but then I’d get caught up in other things and forget all about it.
I realized I make my living from my mind and I was throwing away these golden insights that were being gifted to me. I promised myself I’d start writing down ideas the moment they occurred to me so I wouldn’t lose them. Now, it’s become a habit.”
How many times have you gotten an intuitive flash – a whisper of an idea – and then gone about your day and forgotten it?
If there’s anything I’ve learned in twenty years of researching, writing and speaking about the fascinating topic of creativity, it’s that this is how our best thoughts occur. They POP! into our mind. And if we don’t write them down, they’re gone.
From now on, realize that if you want to make your living from your mind, you need to record those flashes of brilliance in a notebook you carry with you everywhere you go so you can explore their potential later.
Carry a digital recorder, call yourself on your cell phone and leave a message, DO SOMETHING to capture those ideas before disappear.
Remember, they don’t call ’em fleeting thoughts for nothing.
You may not know where this idea, thought seed or phrase fits into your work. Just trust that it will.
Our greatest minds, from Einstein to Mozart, have understood and honored the power of the “muse.” As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Learn to watch that gleam of light which flashes across the mind from within.” Bestselling authors know if they’re fortunate enough to be gifted with a revelation, it’s their responsibility to write it down. If they don’t, it’s gone, perhaps never to be recovered.
I call this, “Muse it or lose it.”
When you take the time to record ideas as they occur to you, they will be there waiting for you, days, months, years later when you’re ready for them. You will have captured those gleams of insight and will be in a position to capitalize on them (and set up SerenDestiny in the process.)
As Saul Bellow said, “I never had to change a word of what I got up in the middle of the night to write.” From now on, INK it when you THINK it and MUSE it so you don’t LOSE it.
Sam Horn, America’s Intrigue Expert, and author of POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything (Perigee-Penguin), helps individuals and organizations create one-of-a-kind ideas and approaches so they break out instead of blend in.
The 17-time Emcee of the world-renowned Maui Writers Conference, she has helped thousands of people get their ideas out of their head, onto paper and out into the world where they’re making a positive difference for others and a prosperous living for their originators.