For thirty-five years I carried a Daytimer. A gift from a friend, I carried it with me at all times.
I have it still.
I use it not.
I laid it to rest earlier this year.
I write compulsively. In younger years I was a student, a consultant and a participant in most of the arts; a painter, a sculptor, a musician, a lyricist; and always my notes, essays, one-liners and dialogues were the skeletal support for everything that I did.
Always the entrepreneur, never the achiever, enjoying the creative building blocks of life and only momentarily, the results, I learned that as I grew older those “results” became my focus as I launched upon a new life of improving on or even of replacing earlier ideas. And I began to enjoy living with and refining these Gifts from my past.
Having made this observation one would think that the Spirit of Creativity would be less demanding but She was not. And, I did not lay down my Daytimer because it was no longer useful but because it was not useful enough.
I needed to know that there was always something to write on and that I need not fear running out of tabla blanca. I tried a pocket tape recorder but the very sound of my voice drew attention away from the musing of the moment. I needed to write. I could carry a laptop around but again there was the urgency of that voice in my head that said, “Quickly, Quickly, Lee. Write it down. Do It Now.”
I have a ten foot long by one foot counter that rests on a three-foot high library where I do much of my work, (standing motivates me to work quickly and efficiently), leafing through hard copies, picking up or dropping off the contents of my pockets. And as I reach for a new spiral, pocket-size notebook, I look for a moment at my worn, distressed, thirty-five-year-old leather binder, all that remains of the Daytimer which had been given to me by a friend who thought I could use it and who like me, had no idea how it would change lives and become a friend in itself.
So, the preceding paragraphs were to prepare you for the importance of being able to reach for a notebook and a gel pen and begin producing within seconds that thought, that poem, that new slant on an old idea. And to never ever give in to the interruptions that this flurry of spontaneity can bring. Interruptions are one of the great plagues of human thought, the demanding Orphans of the Universal Mind; they do not single out the observably creative. The human brain is an unstoppable piece of machinery that from birth to death whirrs out text and imagery at unfathomable rates of speed. The Creative among us are not Truly Creative at all.
Those of us who are blessed with thoughtful, interested readers possess only the ability to quickly spot and recognize a new idea, to focus on that idea and with brush or pen, to create an original expression of that idea.
How many times have you woke from a dream and in stumbling around in search of writing materials discovered moments later that you lack even a trace of memory of that “idea of the ages”. Some say there are no “new” ideas. Others say a “new” idea comes along only once in a lifetime. Saying these things makes them so. So if you want to capture ideas, prepare for them. Doing so assures that there will be other opportunities. But, the opportunity to capture this conversation with God will soon pass so “Write it down. Quickly, Quickly”, “Write it down. Do it now.”