It is said that Issac Newton got the idea for gravity from a falling apple. That J.K. Rowling found inspiration at a coffee shop table. And penicillin popped up when Alexander Fleming forgot to put away the dishes.
Me, I have nothing so grand. But my ideas do come mainly from one place. The Cone of Silence and Suds that is my bathroom shower.
I'm not sure what it is, exactly. The lavender soap? The comforting steamy water? Isolation and exfoliation?
Maybe it's the fact it's six in the morning and I'm still too tired to turn ideas away at the door, bags in hand. No: "Hey you, Mutant Idea-- you're too weird. Take a hike."
Nope, I'm vulnerable then. So instead, I take the Idea's bags, offer it a cup of java and embrace it. "Come, you twelve-eyed freak of a concept! Come stay a while! What took you so long to get here? Bad traffic?"
This probably explains much to many.
The thing is, it does work. But I can't say the technique applies very well to other situations. Like, say, my Real Job as a marketing writer...
"We have a new project," says the boss-type person. "We need to get together and brainstorm. Here is the rubber ducky. I'll get my loofah. And we'll meet you in the shower at 10:30."
I don't want to be a part of that, and I'm sure my colleagues would heartily agree.
Same goes for working with clients. First of all, we'd have all new images floating around our brains, distracting us from the task at hand.
Second, spilled office coffee can scald.
Third, we'd have no place to put our pens.
I try to be practical about these things, and this is just not an adaptable process for idea generation.
So tell me, folks-- what do you do to get your best ideas?
- Oh, and before we go today, if you didn't get to check out Monday's originated-in-the-shower post of "Bullets and Bad Comma: A Tale of Grammar Noir," click here.
I was kinda happy with this one, and I suspect you might get a chuckle.