Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Capturing Inspiration

Third day of course. Yesterday I heard from my instructor -- my mentor -- and I am obsessing over what to write back. What is this novel about again? Why do I want to work on it? What aspects need working upon? I don't remember! Maybe it's all for naught and it's crap and there's no point! Ugh! Artist moods that swing from hubris to shame.

What I need to do is take a shower. Not only because I do need one but because the shower is that magically in which the spark of inspiration becomes a storm of thought.

But I can't just hop in the shower anytime I need a blast of inspiration or a few moments to unknot certain tangled problems. Even if it weren't for the cost of water, would I even want to? Probably not.

And besides, what is it about the shower that makes it so productive, mind-wise? It is the sensory deprivation? The white noise? The alert relaxation that throws one into precisely the best brain state? What are those again? Alpha waves? Most likely it's a combination of everything.

So I have two choices: I can work to capture those elusive answers that come to in the shower or I can try and duplicate the conditions.

Billed as: good clean fun. Awesome. :P

So I think the best bet I have is perhaps to capture on thoughts on paper using an underwater scuba notebook. Or alternatively on the shower walls with fun bathtub crayons! Or perhaps even a grease pencil. The drawback is that I cannot write fast enough to keep up with the tempo of thought that occurs in my temple-of-the-mind, the shower. What I can do is type almost as fast as thought. Okay maybe not almost but a hell of a lot faster than I can write. What I really need is like, I dunno -- a keyboard and screen built into the wall of my shower. A waterproof one. I suppose that doesn't exist yet, since creatives-who-get-their-best-ideas-in-the-shower in a miniscule market. I don't suppose I could pursuade you to invent it, could I?


The other thing I could do is try to duplicate the conditions of the shower outside the bathroom. Namely, where I need ideas the most which is usually in front of the computer. It seems that, if I am on the right track about the whole Alpha Wave thing, I would have to have my eyes closed. It's a little bit like mediating without 'letting thoughts pass out of your mind without judgement' bit. It occurs to me that I've known this secret all along! Ever since that high school band came to play at my elementary school and I closed my eyes to listen to the music and my first story popped into my mind. In fact, I believe I did the same thing last evening as I waited for my yoga class to start: I thought about one of the problems my currenly manuscript currently faces and I closed my eyes in relaxation pose and listened to the sweet little folky ditty that came out of the speaker. And the answer came.


Okay so I think I've got the formula down. But yesterday, frustrated with my own addiction to all things internet, I poked about for one of those 'distraction free' writing applications. And I came up with this: "OmmWriter". It's pretty cool since it plays ambient music and so might just turn out to be the ultimate all-in-one shower idea-writing down package. I see it as this way: Close eyes, listen to music, open eyes, write ideas done, repeat. Not too shabby.

So what do you think? Do you get ideas in the shower? Do you think my little system would work for you?