Me and My Bright Ideas

IMG_9432Has this ever happened to you?

You go for a walk, when suddenly you get an idea for a story or a blog post and you say to yourself, “Wow, I better rush home to write this down before I forget!”

Sound familiar?

So, of course you pick up the pace and scramble home, trying desperately to hold on to that thought because it’s got the makings of a fantastic first sentence. You scrunch your eyebrows, trying to concentrate on that thought and lock it into your brain so you’ll remember it perfectly until you get home and can write it down on a piece of paper or on your computer. And all the while you’re saying to yourself:

“I can’t forget. I can’t forget. Please don’t let me forget.”

As you briskly walk home, you start imagining how wonderful it’ll be to see this amazing idea you’ve been contemplating become the beginning of your published book which is sure to be a best seller. With an opening line like that, it’s destined to stay 40 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, right?

And you can just picture all the middle school kids who groan when they hear they have to read Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” but you know they’ll be thrilled like nobody’s business when they’re told they’ll be reading your book, instead. All because of the opening sentence which is truly remarkable. And to think, you cleverly came up with it on your walk today.

But you’re not home yet and you haven’t written it down. As you quicken your steps you find yourself wondering why you walked so far from home, anyway. Honestly, you realize you’ve should’ve made it a policy to NEVER walk further than a half block radius from your house, just to avoid situations like this.

But then, of course, you remember you were trying to meet your Fitbit goal for the day and weren’t quite there yet which is why you walked this far in the first place. In your sandals no less!

Exactly what were you thinking going out in that footwear?

I mean, why you didn’t wear your sneakers, you’ll never know but you’re kicking yourself now, aren’t you? Because those sandals weren’t made for walking long distances and now they’re pinching you. You got them because they’re cute, not practical and now you’re paying for it, aren’t you. Oh, bother.

But you figure as soon as you cut that book and movie deal you will buy yourself a whole closet of comfortable yet stylish shoes–custom made! Because you’ll be able to afford it. After all, you’re going places!

Of course all this thinking made you miss your turn for home so now you’re backtracking and suddenly it dawns on you. That bright idea is fading away!


And here, you were so sure it was going to win you the Pulitzer Prize. So you’ve got to remember it!

Which makes you desperate. You pause to look around, overcome with panic, and a thin hope that the fabulous idea will do a somersault back into your head. For a nanosecond it almost does, and you’re so relieved but then you notice you’re standing by the front door to your place and a new thought pops into your head:

You’re home at last!

Now you’re inside and looking for somewhere to write down that brilliant idea that’s become so minuscule, a whisper of an idea and you’re trying your best to smack it awake while searching for a sheet of paper, a used envelope–SOMETHING!

But, there’s nothing in sight to write on! For crying out loud!

You’re about to run upstairs because you know you left a pad of paper on your desk. And just as you’re about to take the steps two by two, it’s over. Whatever that great you had–the one that was going to be your ticket to writing that Great American novel or your next blog post, is gone.

Yes, you officially, plumb forgot it, no questions asked. Arrivederci Roma.

And that, my friend, is the story of my life.

What’s yours?

Epilogue: The great idea is still at large, having left high and dry. If you find it, let me know. There’s a reward, after all.

27 thoughts on “Me and My Bright Ideas

  1. I often have this great idea in the night. When I lived alone I could turn on the light and write it down but now I have to try to remember it. Alas, it has usually disappeared by morning. Oh well, perhaps I’ll go for a walk and look for your great idea it’s surely hanging around somewhere still.

  2. It happened to me today, Monica. In my car, happily driving along, time for school pick up and all. A brilliant idea invaded, tugging at me to jot it down at the most inopportune moment – school gate opened and children got in the car. I had nothing to write/type quickly .. Well I had my phone and sometimes I use it, I also had my iPad for those just in-case days.. It just wasn’t enough time. So as I listened to school stories.. My idea kept swirling. I asked, no begged it to stay until I got home. 1 hour 15 mins later through traffic and all, it was gone. Not even an ounce nor inkling of what my brilliant idea was.
    I’ve given up on today, I guess tomorrow is a brand new day. I hope yours comes back. You know it’s lurking about.

    • It’s the writer’s lot to lose half the stories we were destined to write. Sounds like you had a doozy of a day chasing yours. Better luck next time. I’m still on my quest to find mine. 🙂

    • Jayne, my idea was within grasp. I tried to hold onto it as long as I could. I ran like the wind to get home and then, well, the rest is history. If you find it, it’s yours. Keep it. Seems you might need it more than me at the moment. 😉

    • Val, I feel your pain. Good luck and don’t give up. You write amazing poetry, so if your great idea has disappeared, a new one will be along soon. I guarantee it!

  3. Yes, it’s happened to me – many times (at least for poems)! I try to use my iPhone to write down any words or lines that occur to me, and I usually can grasp them, if I’m fast enough. But honestly, it’s like chasing clouds sometimes!

    • Shery, it’s like chasing clouds and trying to pin them down. It could explain why lately I feel like I have writer’s block. It’s not writer’s block I have, it’s writers disappearance. All my good ideas are exiting before I can write them down!

  4. I know the feeling. It’s happened to me in sleep. A song I wrote and could hear the melody to was to be sang by some famous somebody. Though I’m not a song writer by any means, I was in that one dream and when I woke up, BAM, it was in Neverland. To this day, nobody knows me and that song was my ticket from the train I’m riding now. Heck, that song was supposed to get me a private jet. I wasn’t singing it, of course.

    Here’s to finding that groove of forgotten stuff.

  5. Well, I probably wasn’t trying to get in my fit bit. Sometimes I find the paper and pen and then just stand there because the idea is already long gone.

  6. This generally happens to me just as I’m drifting off to sleep. And I’m left with a dilemma — wake myself up completely to write my Great Idea down, or fall asleep hoping I’ll remember it (which I never do!). Such an aggravation, isn’t it? I think ^Robert^ might have the best idea, though — whip out your smartphone and record it for posterity!!

    • Debbie, It’s happened to me when I’m trying to fall asleep. Actually, one time I did get up and, for the next two hours, I wrote down a rather long poem. It was coming out of my head faster than I could write it down, and I ended up calling it my Boomer Anthem poem, which turned out to be one of my most popular posts ever. So you never know! Might be worth getting out of bed for!

  7. Ah the secret is when you’re out and about Monica to get out the iPhone and either make a note on it which will be on any Apple devices you have at home or if easier just send yourself an email with the idea in.

    Sometimes I will wake up in the night with a bright idea, I just grab the iPad by the side of the bed make a note on it and drop off back to sleep. Mind you I have been known to read what I wrote in the night and dismiss it as gibberish rubbish.

    The story of my life is to run out of toner in the laser printer 5 pages before the end of printing something.

    • I have an iPhone but work so much better on my iPad. iPhone’s too small for my needs and I can’t carry the iPad around on my walks. I should just teach Oliver to take dictation. 😉

      • I have an iPhone 5 and a iPad mini 3 and take both of them with me everywhere, the iPad mini is like carrying a paperback, make notes on it all the time.

  8. I’ve done this a few times! But the real bane of my existence is when I do remember the idea and sit down to write it, only to discover that it amounts to no more than a measly couple hundred words, which, to top it off, are wooden.

    • So true. That does happen, but nevertheless, we take the chance and try to remember long enough to make it home and write it down. Once in a while, that actually works! And you never know, what sounds wooden can be finessed and with the right amount of panache–can work wonders! 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and adding your two cents!

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