Regular readers of this blog will know how much I love a list. This week finds me working on my next book and this in itself has started me thinking about where I am when I have my best ideas.
I have therefore decided to unite the two in beauteous harmony. Here are my top five ‘light-bulb’ locations.
It is a source of great joy and huge frustration that I probably have my very best ideas whilst I’m washing my hair. I’m thinking that perhaps the massaging of my scalp is kick-starting a neurological ideas-fest in my head. Sadly, I can rarely remember them by the time I am dry and next to a notebook. I currently have a patent-pending on the waterproof notebook and pen and firmly expect it to make me millions.
A close second to the shower but not always so productive as there is often a small person demanding a tissue, some food or replies to questions such as, ‘do you believe in God?’ At 8.27 in the morning? I can barely remember my name. Still, if the ideas don’t flow then the dialogue for scenes can often be found. Again, as with the shower, the lack of ability to write stuff down can be a problem. I have been known to repeat an idea over and over so that I don’t forget it but only if I’m on my own, when it is perfectly acceptable to act like a crazy lady.
Whilst sitting in a coffee shop
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, staring out of the window at the blue sky whilst listening to the cheeping of small birds doesn’t give me ideas. It makes me long for a nap. When the ideas start to dwindle and I need to remind myself what humans look like, I head for the nearest coffee shop. Fortunately I am very nosy but quite good at appearing to do something else. It doesn’t always end up in a book but it’s very useful for stimulating the imagination.
Whilst cleaning the house
I am a reluctant cleaner. It is repetitive and boring. However, the mindlessness of the job means that your brain is effectively empty and I find that random ideas often pop into my mind and take root. The best type of cleaning for this is dusting or wiping surfaces. Nothing will pop into your brain whilst cleaning the toilet apart from, ‘I bloody hate cleaning toilets. I wish I could afford a cleaner or at least train the children to do this.’
In the middle of the night
I used to be a really good sleeper. I could sleep for twelve hours at a stretch, have an afternoon nap and then do another twelve the night after. Since I hit forty, my brain seems to like to wake me up around four with a brilliant idea for a blog or a book or just to worry about the leak in the kitchen. Sometimes I want to remove my brain, have a sharp word with it and threaten to remove its TV privileges unless it goes back to sleep immediately. However, I often get up and start writing. I came up for the entire concept for my second book during one sleep-deprived night so it does work, even if it leaves me feeling as grumpy as a badger.
So there you have it – my top five light-bulb locations. Let me know what yours are and I’ll be sure to send you a waterproof notebook and pen once it hits the shelves.