We’ve all had that moment. Just going about business as usual, going through the motions. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an idea hits. The drive to drop everything and turn that idea into something tangible immediately is a craving almost impossible to curb.
To a writer, acting on inspiration and carrying out an idea can be compared to any necessary human function of our existence. You can’t usually say no. Yet inspiration does come and go, and we can’t always stop what we’re doing in the moment just because we’re feeling inspired to do something else.
Here’s how to make that inspiration last, so you can get more done – writing and otherwise – and feel good about what you’ve managed to accomplish.
Jot down your idea
The problem with brain rush is it can be difficult to manage if you’re out of practice. It takes time to train yourself to let an idea unfold and blossom in your mind without allowing it to distract you from other, more pressing tasks. Writing down that idea, giving yourself a few key words or phrases to picture in your mind until you can get back to it later, is a good way to practice stretching your inspiration out for hours, sometimes even days at a time.
There’s a big difference between jotting down your idea in the margins of a notepad and trying to implement it right away. Most good ideas sit in your head for awhile before they’re ready to enter the real world. Stay inspired by letting your idea grow and change slowly while it’s still just an idea.
Formulate an incentive
So it’s the middle of the day, and you still have a few hours of “real” work to do before you can put it aside and engage in your own personal brainstorming session. How in the world are you supposed to concentrate when your mind won’t shut off, or at least turn away from the idea distracting you long enough for you to actually be able to finish what’s more important?
Give yourself an incentive. Tell yourself you can work on outlining your new idea, just for fun, for the rest of the evening as long as you finish these three deadlines first.
Leave the best thing for last
You don’t have to limit that feeling of being inspired to just the original idea that inspired you in the first place. If you let it, that feeling will carry you through just about any task.
It’s that natural high all creative minds know, love and hunger for without even realizing it. And if you leave your original idea for last, your inspiration can and will help you push through every task that comes before it until you finally reach the one you’ve been waiting for.
Feeling inspired? Let that attitude take over your whole life for the time being and see where it takes you. Sure, you might suddenly feel inspired to work on that novel you’ve been neglecting for a month. But if you stop and think about it, you actually might also suddenly feel pretty inspired to write that paper for class, and apply for that job you really want, and go run three miles like you always say you will but haven’t yet.
Take advantage of this feeling. Make it last. Make it count.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.