Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Value of Random Thoughts

We all know what random thoughts are—the ones that pop into your head and you think, Wow… that’s a really cool idea. These are the thoughts that have you puffing up with pride at the notion that you could come up with something so good on your own, or delighting you with your own ability to solve a problem. They make you feel brilliant… and then they’re gone... like stars at sunrise.

Everything that exists in our world started out as a flash of an idea in someone’s mind. Not all of those minds belonged to geniuses either. They belonged to people who grabbed hold of their thoughts, and didn’t let go until they turned them into a reality.

If you want to write a book, but are having trouble getting started, here are a few things you can start doing right now.

Write your flashes of brilliance down! Books aren’t written all at once. They’re written word by word (and not necessarily in order). Get a notebook. It can be a fancy notebook or not, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, or how many pages it has. What matters is that it’s one and only purpose is for you to record your thoughts and ideas. No to-do lists! No journaling!

I have a couple of books like this; small ones from the Dollar Store, each with its own designated subject. Then, whenever I have an idea, thought, or flash, I have a place to write it down.

Embrace the power of post-its! Funny little things—post-its, but powerful little things to have handy because brilliance rarely checks to see if one of your notebooks is nearby before gracing you with its presence. With a post-it, you can capture your idea with words before it fades away.

What I really like about post-its (besides the fact that you can write something down and then add it to your notebook later) is that they come in all kinds of shapes and colors. You can choose colors that match your mood, or even color code your thoughts if you want.

Most Importantly! When you do write down your thoughts, ideas, flashes of brilliance, etc., make sure to write down enough of the thought so you’ll know exactly what you were thinking when you came up with it. I can’t even imagine how many wonderful thoughts and ideas have been lost through the ages because someone wrote a four word sentence and thought, I’ll remember what it means. Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure that what you write is as complete as it can be.

Don’t share! I know that sounds like a bad thing to say, but ideas can be fragile things. Treat them like the newborns they are. Don’t give them over to strangers. And, as we’re not really talking about babies here, my advice is not to share them with loved ones or trusted friends either—at least not at first. Write them down, and then let them settle long enough for the inspiration that sparked their existence to take root. If you work with a coach or mentor, those are the people you can share them with because your best interest is their top priority.

Respect your own process! People create at their own pace, so cut yourself some slack if your book isn’t taking shape as quickly as you’d like it to. If you’d like some guidance understanding and defining your process, let’s chat.