A Simple Look at a Not-So-Simple Life

Brilliant, Simply Brilliant!

Brilliant ideas for blog posts, writing projects, and even sermons – I have them. Yes, I really do. They come in the wee hours of the morning when I half-awaken to change positions or pull the covers tighter. I’m not exactly awake, but I’m not exactly asleep either. As I settle back down in search of real sleep, my mind percolates introductory paragraphs, perfect story illustrations, memories I had forgotten. They seem, in that groggy state, so very promising.

Brilliant ideas come when I’m driving. I enter the “zone” when I drive. I’m aware of my surroundings, but if you pass me on the road, please don’t expect me to wave because I promise I didn’t even notice that it was your car I just passed. I write in my head and keep pushing the internal repeat button in hopes that it will become ingrained enough I won’t forget.

I heard a story on NPR today about Roald Dahl, told by his daughter, Ophelia. She said that she remembers riding in the car with her father when he would suddenly have an idea for a story. She said he would pull off the side of the road and write it in the dirt on the hood of the car so he wouldn’t forget it. Now that’s dedication. I’m guessing that he always tried to race the clouds home before the rain stole his ideas from the hood.

Yes, I have a notebook and pen beside my bed. But just like the Palmetto bugs (i.e., cockroaches) scatter when the lights turn on, so do the ideas when the bright lamp intrudes on my dreamlike state. (Goodness. Did I really just compare my good ideas to cockroaches? So much for convincing anyone of my brilliance.)

And yes, I have a voice recorder on my phone. Somewhere. By the time I figure out where, the muse turns shy and escapes, taking the ideas with her.

There is a better way, I just know it. Maybe I need a little pen light. Ideas aren’t scared of a dim little light, are they? And if I went to the trouble of downloading a friendly voice app and putting a widget on my home screen, surely I could start it up discreetly enough that the muse wouldn’t flee, right?

I guess that’s the only way to find out if I’m brilliant or if I’m just (day)dreaming.


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4 thoughts on “Brilliant, Simply Brilliant!

  1. I so relate to that. The pen and notebook by the bed works for me…except I won’t turn on the light and my handwriting is already “doctorish” so by daylight I can’t read the great idea. You know..maybe Jesus had the right idea. Just get a bunch of people following you around and tell them your thoughts. But then everyone would argue about what you really said or meant. Let me know if you figure it out.
    Hope you are feeling better!

  2. I do the same thing – have brilliant ideas for blog posts, sermons, etc…but then if I don’t get to them right away I lose them – or more often, they don’t play out as well when actually written. sigh…I thought the metaphor of palmetto bugs was good – they are after all persistent and long lasting and tenacious….lol

    • Cathy, I tried the whole write in the dark thing once to record a dream I had about an encounter with Sue Monk Kidd in my dream house. In my dream she used this strange word to describe how wonderful the house was. I just had to remember that word! Of course, by the light of day, I can hardly read it and/or the word is just a mishmash of letters. If only I hadn’t lost that perfect word!

    • Well, Terri, I’m scared of Palmetto bugs. Wonder if that means I’m scared of potentially good ideas, too?

      Every now and then I can craft a solid essay or sermon in my head. It’s so cool when that happens, because when I sit down at the computer all I have to do is just empty it out. It just flows. Unfortunately, that is all too rare of an event. More often than not I lose it altogether or it ends up being pretty lame after all. I just keep trying . . .

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