several months ago, i edited documents for a non-profit. in the simplest terms, part of their mission is teaching parents to do their job more constructively. in an email, i suggested creating a series of children’s books on these topics.
the recipient basically said, “yup, sure would be nice” and moved on to the next order of Super Important Email Business.
i let the idea go, too.
until Tuesday night.
because as i was snuggling into bed, preparing for another round of trying to sleep the week after Daylight Saving Time ends, i thought, hey, what if i wrote children’s books?
and because i’m reading Big Magic, i was tuned in and took notice:
“ideas are alive, that ideas do seek the most available human collaborator, that ideas do have a conscious will, that ideas do move from soul to soul, that ideas will always try to seek the swiftest and most efficient conduit to the earth (just as lightning does).”
so i grabbed the mechanical pencil and stack of paper i keep on my nightstand and scribbled notes in the dark.
dedication of this kind creates the following visual: me, on my back, eye mask temporarily removed, with binder-clipped scrap paper three inches from my face, writing furiously in pitch darkness. somehow, turning on a light is too disturbing but the possibility of being unable to read my writing the next morning is not.
also based on the teachings in Big Magic, i thanked the idea for coming back and promised to make good on it. in fact, Idea Fest—Fall 2015 continued yesterday morning over breakfast.
in a perfect world, you’d pounce on ideas as soon as they arrive. but realistically, they’re transient and you won’t catch all of them the first time. they may not even make sense initially.
but if they return? you’d better treat their resurfacing like the last time you’ll ever see them. in fact, their return is more important because the idea bothered to make the trip.
it’s time to grab a label maker and plaster that idea with your name, including your middle initial.
because now the idea’s a little impatient and is clearing its throat. so be grateful to it, just as you (i hope) express gratitude for everything else in life and get working.
and in case you were wondering, Super Important Email Business doesn’t exist.