Thursday, July 10, 2008

On inspiration

I think up so many great topics to write about that I can hardly keep up with myself.

Problem is, I forget most of them by the time I get to the computer.

I think of writing ideas at all sorts of times. In the shower, sitting around in court, while running (of course), and most of all, while walking.

Walking is the greatest forum for thinking because the physical requirements of walking don't consume much attention. Unlike running, where your brain might occasionally be distracted by such thoughts legs heel/ankle/achilles tendon is bothering knees/hips/back are sore...Am I breathing hard? I am gasping for breath. Is that a hill? How far have I gone? How much further am I going? Is there a bathroom nearby? Dear God, get me to a bathroom! Etc.

Usually (though not always) such physical discomforts are not present when walking, leaving your mind free to compose and create while your body takes care of the rest of it. And oh, such brilliant ideas I have had! Whole paragraphs, nay pages mentally written as I stroll along. I am convinced that later, when I go to the computer, my posting will be eloquent.

And then, like a dream in the night, the thoughts fade away by the time I'm home.

What I need, I believe, is a portable dictaphone that I can wear when I walk (and run) so that I can record my ideas as I have them.

Now it occurs to me that I might look somewhat ridiculous (if not crazed) walking along talking to myself. But then I think of all the people I see now with a bluetooth in their ear, talking away on the phone, presumably (although one never really knows if there's someone on the other end).

Of course, adding yet another device to my body might just put me into electronic overload. There's the Timex iControl watch (operating my iPod) on one wrist, and of course the iPod itself with the earbuds wired to my head (as I have not yet discovered a suitable type of wireless earphones). There's a Garmin on the other wrist. There's a cell phone in my pocket, and as soon as I figure out how to use it, possibly a bluetooth in my ear. Although that would interfere with the earbuds. Add a microphone in front of my mouth like old-fashioned headgear, throw in a quad latte, and I'm more wired than this dude!

Of course, putting my thoughts on tape would require me to listen to and transcribe them... and we know that's not going to happen. I don't even listen to books on tape. That why I learned how to read! Much faster and more effective than actually listening to something and trying to retain it.

So these recorded thoughts need to go directly to the computer. Better yet, why not a device that transfers my thoughts directly from my brain to a computer? I'm much more eloquent in my head than speaking aloud. (All kidding aside, it's true. Isn't that what writing is all about? Putting your thoughts on paper without saying them.)

Of course, it's possible, just possible mind you, that this sort of direct compilation of ideas from brain to computer screen could result in the sort of absurd ramblings that you would get if you recorded your dreams on a notepad in the middle of the night. Much like the chicken scratchings you might find on your notepad in the morning, before you know it I would be writing about things like wearing Deena Kastor's running pants. Oh wait....

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who composes brilliant blog posts in my head while running, walking, driving etc. only to forget them when I get to the computer.

I read a blog post recently ( that suggested a running shirt with a microphone at the neck for recording our brilliant thoughts.