I did it.
I warn my students against it, but I did it anyway.
I lecture my students to:
1. Discover the place where you get your most creative ideas.
2. Embrace that place.
This means being prepared to document those ideas when they arise.
3. Never assume you will remember your great ideas.
No matter how good the idea or how common the knowledge may seem, you will forget it.
It’s this belief, taught to me by my college journalism professor, that has resulted in me pulling over on the side of the road to jot down a good lead or jumping out of the shower to grab a pen and paper.
I typically don’t get my great ideas while I’m attempting to sleep. My creativity comes during the monotony of my daily shower or commute.
Perhaps it was because my idea came outside of my typical “creative place.” Maybe it was just laziness or arrogance. As I lay in bed last night, I wrote the first few graphs of a blog post I’ve been contemplating in my head. I even brainstormed headlines and generated what I recall as being a “great idea.” I didn’t document any of it.
This morning it is gone.
It is a frustrating feeling.
I must practice what I preach.
What is your creative thinking place? What tools do you use to document your ideas there?
My ideas often come in the shower, while driving to work, while writing/editing a piece in the office… inspiration comes everywhere! I’ve also had the experience you have; even worse, I’ve written a fantastic blog post in my head only to discover I’ve forgotten it the next morning. For me, it’s a matter of self-discipline. I must be willing to stop what I’m doing and take the time to write it down.
Evernote has been a big help for me. I keep a running list of ideas and potential posts. It syncs online, on my desktop, and on my iPhone. Plus, I can take voicenotes or photos on my phone to document ideas when I’m on the go. I highly recommend that your students try something like Evernote; it is an invaluable tool for writers.
You are the first comment on the newly redesigned KRG! How exciting is that?
I really need to take a closer look at Evernote. Many friends have commented about using it loyaly, but I failed to fully embrace it’s functions when I tried.
The voice recording app on my iPhone has been really helpful for documenting ideas and post content while driving. The only negative is that I then have to listen to my voice on playback. I’ve never much enjoyed the way my recorded voice sounds. We’ll call that one of my many quirks.
Thanks for commenting.
I’m usually in that just-falling-asleep category. Today, though, I found another place for ideas/thoughts: during a massage. I know exactly what you mean about losing the ideas if you don’t write them down. Fortunately, today wasn’t one of those days.
During a massage… I can’t decide if this is good or not. You certainly can’t document and relax at the same time.
One of my university professors told us that he got his best ideas in the middle of the night. He kept a paper and pen on his nightstand. He would wake up, turn on the lamp, document his idea, then go back to sleep. This always seemed strange to me. I thought “You’d be tired all of the time because you’d never feel like you go any rest.”
To each his own, I guess.
Thanks for the comment!
Agreed! I come up with my best ideas when I’m lying in bed or in the shower. Sometimes I get them on my evening walk, but thankfully I listen to music on my phone during that, so I can jot it down in the Notes app. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself I’ll remember something I’m coming up with in the morning…and then completely fail to do so. So, so frustrating.
Natalie 'Altadonna' Smith says
Love this post! I’ve been guilty of thinking I will remember my great ideas and I never do! Now, I have a journal for each school year. All my notes from meetings and professional development stuff go in the same journal. I also added a notes section to my lesson plan book so I can daily reflect on how each of my lessons went.
Prof KRG says
I love the journaling, especially since you get to buy a pretty new journal each year.
Prof KRG says
I used to keep a work journal. I stopped at some point, which probably wasn’t good.