What We Do – Day 230

I need to take more showers.

Not that I’m dirty or anything. It’s just that, well, I seem to have the BEST ideas in the shower. (Actually, come to think of it, inspiration strikes mostly when I’m stepping out of the shower… funny that…)

In my former copywriting/creativity blog, I had a whole post on the creative phenomenon — and it is a phenomenon. I called it the “Unified Shower Theory of Creativity”. I don’t remember the whole thing, but you can read a pretty good description of someone else’s theory here: http://www.cameronmoll.com/archives/2008/11/showering_and_thinking/

Anyway, I was in the shower the other day, stepped out, and had the last few lines of my novel come to me. Just like that.

The downside, as with every Earth-tilting idea I get in the shower, is that I couldn’t IMMEDIATELY reach my computer to write them. I had to dry off, find some clothes, run through the house past my no-longer-bewilderable family, down the stairs to my office, all-the-while reciting the lines in my head. Some precious words slipped through my fingers, but thankfully I was able to bobble most of it until I could commit the lines to digital dots of light forever…

I still have to write the last quarter of the book. But I’ve known for a long time basically how the book will end. To have the last conversation tumble out like that though was — incredible. How do you describe it? It’s like the thing you’ve been looking for all day suddenly being handed to you. Except better, because that thing you were looking for didn’t exist until it appeared in front of you out of nowhere.

And you created it.

I’d like to say: “This is why we become writers.” It is so poetic to think that these little moments of sparks are what keeps us going. ‘Course it’s also BS. We write because, in the immortal words of Bill Paxton à la Twister, “It’s what we do.”

The flashes of brilliance simply make us realize that, despite what those hateful demons whisper in our ears, what we do really is worthwhile.


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