Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to never lose your good ideas

I got the idea for my book while walking on concrete in an outdoor breezeway.

Seriously. 

I was working full time at a community college, and at the time the idea of writing a nonfiction book was a distant dream

So there I was, strolling in the Florida sunlight after having walked across campus to the print shop to pick up signs for the newest student life event, and BOOM. It hit.

I should write a book for community college students, teaching them how to connect with their peers, professors, and professional mentors. I see that the successful students here are doing the same things, just like I did. 

And the rest is history. 

Or is it that simple? Not exactly.

A million other things could have distracted me from making that idea a reality. We get ideas all the time, as we're going through our days. But often, they disappear due to distraction

So when I got this idea, I raced to my desk and sent an email to myself, fleshing out the thought. 

Whew. Idea solidified

You probably get more good ideas than you realize. And as the book Imagine: How Creativity Works explains, we typically get those ideas during times of rest.

Walking, working out, on vacation, when you shower, and just before you fall asleep are all times when your mind often cranks out ideas. 

But if you don't act on them immediately, they will disappear as fast as they came. 

So the next time you have an idea that strikes you, write it down immediately. I have a notebook app in my phone just for these ideas, as well as one in my iPod that I fill in when ideas come to me at the gym. I also keep a small notepad by my bed.

Even if 99% of your ideas never work out, you never know how that one could change your life. 

Write down the ideas that come to you in times of rest and relaxation, and in between, keep learning lots so that your brain will have many creative things to mull over when you finally take a break :)

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