It amazes me. Life. The journey we take. It takes surprising turns and we end up in locations we never thought possible. We have these big ideas of where we want to go. Sometimes we get there and we don’t even know it, because we get so wrapped up in all the craziness that is our life. Sometimes we don’t get there, but we arrived in a place that’s just as good or even better. And we think, “Wow, how did I get here?”
Living a creative life isn’t easy in this world of constant distractions and doubt. We wonder if what we are doing is right. We wonder if we should do this or do that. We fear what others might think if they find out exactly what we want or exactly how we think. We fear judgement and scorn. We fear failure. We fear success. We fear doing the wrong thing.
But even with all this tumbling in the back of our minds, we still feel the need to live our life the way we want to. That pull. That desire to just be us. It’s not just enough to live. We want to live a creative life. We want to be expressive. We want to experiment. We want to try new things. We want to do more than what we are doing. We want to be more than what we are, or maybe just a better version.
We also worry about how much we are getting done. Is our life where it should be? Shouldn’t we be doing more? Shouldn’t we be farther along than we are?
“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.” ~Vita Sackville-West
It’s a rare thing that you sit down to write and some of your best ideas actually come while your writing. If you’re like me an idea will come to you out of the blue when your driving the car, making dinner, working-out, or maybe even watching Television, and if you are also like me and don’t write that idea down right away it will disappear into the haze of your memory. It is important to catch those thoughts and place them somewhere so that they don’t drift away to be lost forever, because chances are they won’t come back. I can’t tell you how many great story ideas or ideas period that became lost to my forgetful brain. So what is the cure to this dilemma?
I wish I could say that there actually was a cure to the haze of memory, but I do know there is a way to get around it. Just write your ideas down as soon as they come to you. The best way to do this is to keep a small notebook or journal with you at all times that you can get to without too much hassle. You don’t want to go looking for your notebook and find that in the process of looking for it that you completely forgot what you wanted to write down in the first place. Keeping a notebook near you might be a little awkward at first, but you’d be surprised how quickly you get use to it and rely on it. If you do happen to find yourself without your notebook, then find a scrap of paper to write on.
Whether you use a notebook or paper scraps just get those fleeting thoughts down in writing so they don’t vanish completely. You’ll be thankful for the ideas later on and you’ll find that the habit of writing, even if a few short sentences or words will actually compel you to want to write even more. Catch the butterfly of the moment.