When inspiration strikes…

Inspiration doesn’t care. Have you ever noticed that? Sometimes, it will hit you exactly when you need it to. Other times, it won’t even get up to bat. So how can you catch inspiration when it strikes, regardless of what you are doing and when you are doing it?

When I started University and the writing bug awoke from its slumber, a superb piece of advice I was given, was to always have a notepad and pencil to hand. One in a bag, in your glove box, on your bedside cabinet, in your desk drawer at work. Have them scattered like confetti! In doing so, you are maximising your opportunities so that when inspirations bats for a six, you can catch it.

It was over a decade ago whilst walking the grounds of the seat of the Boleyn family, Blickling Hall in Norfolk that I stumbled upon a tree splintered in half, presumably by lightning.

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It was at the exact moment of seeing that felled tree that inspiration struck me. Luckily, I had heeded the advice given about preparation. I threw my dog’s lead at my Aunt Carol and went scampering off back to the car to grab my notepad and pencil and, at that very moment, Hannah and the Hollow Tree was born. Had I not been prepared, I doubt I would have remembered those embryonic ideas that, given time, blossom as they are meant to.

On this website, I talk about running and inspiration striking me whilst pounding the pavements. Do I carry a pad and pencil in my Lycra? Sadly, no. But, what I do carry is my phone. Ta-da! Instant notepad. Even if you can break your inspiration down into three of four key words or one sentence it is worth getting it down by whatever means you have. And if inspiration strikes when driving, pull over! Ignition off. Scribble away. When finished, then and only then should you carry on driving when it is safe to do so.

Another noteworthy app on all phones is voice memo. Hands full? No time to type? Then say it! Hit record, rattling those ideas down, then carry on with your business, safe in the knowledge you have stored key ideas you will no doubt call upon when you next sit down to write.  Forget you made them? Well, when inspiration has abandoned you, hit play, listen and, hopefully, the words will flow.