My hands fumble along the stereo in my car. I turn it up to a perfect volume – 39. My ears may pay for it later, but I don’t care right now. I love the way the music takes over me. It helps me relax and focus on the cars around me at the same time. I’m not sure how, but it does.
However, it’s times like these when my Personal Creative Inspiration (PCI) comes barging into my head and slamming her fist on the door.
Robin! Answer me!
Most times, I roll my eyes and keep driving. I’m a little busy here. But she never listens to me. No matter what I’m doing, she never listens. For about the past twelve years, she hasn’t listened once.
Okay! So, remember that non-fiction piece you wrote a couple of days ago? I made a list of everything you forgot to write in there. I’m sending it to you now. You’ll remember it for about five minutes, so try to write it down before you forget it! I’ll remind you in about five to thirteen days if you forget.
PCI! I’m driving!
Some of those ideas she sends me are good too. They’re too perfect to pass up. So, here I am, repeating them to myself until I can pull over and write them down. I’ll open notes on my phone and type as much as I can before the inspiration leaves.
My PCI is the worst sometimes. I’ll be out with friends and she’ll scream ideas at me. When I’m with family, she whispers random facts that I should remember to go back through and edit. Do you know when she shuts up? When a blank Word document is right in front of me…
At times, I wish I could sit down with her and write a contract.
I, Robin’s PCI, shall not tell, scream, shout, whisper, or even try to talk about writing or editing to Robin when she’s with friends, family, or out in public. If so, I am to be put in time-out and never come out until called upon again.
Oh, I wish that was real. As I’ve mentioned before, writing is not a job I can clock out of. It’s one of those jobs that wears you down because you can never leave. All of this creativity is trapped inside of me, begging to get out. My PCI tries to manage it all, but let’s face it: she’s a terrible manager.
Most of my ideas come to me when I can’t write them down like when I’m driving or in the shower. It’s the most convenient time in the world. For Christmas, I might send my PCI a new planner. Perhaps she can organize when she gives me ideas at more convenient times. If not, I’m printing that contract out.
I don’t like missing brilliant ideas because I can’t write them down.
However, one of my favorite Ted Talks called Your elusive creative genius talks about when creative inspirations come at bad times. Instead of getting upset, this one writer stopped what he was doing, turned to his PCI, and said, “Excuse me. Can you not see that I’m driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? You know, if you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you. Otherwise, go bother somebody else today.”
When I first heard it, I laughed along with the audience. I thought it was hilarious that this talented creative person, turned to the sky and said this out loud. I giggled for a bit before I stopped and thought: Wait. Why am I not doing that?
Over the years, I’ve forgotten about this Ted Talks, which is terrible to say because it is such an amazing Ted Talk on the creative process. I’ve never seen a better one than this. But remembering it again made me think about all the writers out there who don’t know or the writers like me who’ve forgotten how much power we can have over our PCI.
I can control my creativity. My PCI doesn’t have to cause me stress. My creative story will be fantastic in time. I just have to wait for it. (We always end up waiting for the best things in life though.)