Before the crack of dawn this morning I woke up, glowing with excitement about a essay idea that probably came from a dream. The vision was luminous and the concept was crystal clear. I knew that the minute I sat down at the keyboard, print-ready copy would pour forth in minutes. How could I risk drifting back to sleep and forgetting? Sarabelle is a ferocious taskmaster.
I slid from between my warm covers out into the cold, dark room, reaching for robe and slippers. I came down to my computer and ... I had fifteen e-mails. And ... I answered a couple. And ... here I sit, looking at a puddle of story that melted in the heat of the thought required to respond to those e-mails. Turning my mental energies to the thought required to craft those replies was blowing a strong wind across the surface of the previously mirror-still pond reflecting my idea.
Rats! I know better! How could I let this happen when I left my cozy bed for the specific purpose of recording it before it went poof?
Well, no point in beating myself up about it. I could pull out my journal and do some freewriting to see I can recapture the thought. But it's way more tempting to slip back between those warm covers and see if Sarabelle might be compassionate enough to give me a second chance. In any event, next time I have an epiphany (in the early morning or later in the day), I will not allow e-mail or anything else to distract me from recording it! I’ll at least get enough of it onto my story idea list to make sure I can recapture the moment.
Write now: start a story idea list if you don't already have one. That might be a piece of paper that you add to and check things off of. It might be a cigar or file box for collecting random scraps of paper, or a document on your computer. However you manage it, be sure you have one!