Where were you when your last spark of inspiration hit you?
How many Eureka moments have you lost because an idea flashed during the good part of your favorite TV show or while you were sitting at a traffic light?
Losing a great idea is almost as bad as losing a sneeze right before the big “a-choo” grand finale!
It’s as if my Muse takes pleasure in her trickery, teasing me with sparks of inspiration when I’m most likely to forget them.
Fortunately, I’ve figured out a quick fix to foil my Muse’s sneaky plans. I think will help you, too.
(ha ha! Joke’s on her!)
Whenever a great idea pops into my head, I write it in my Swipe File.
A Swipe File is a doodle pad, notebook, audio message on your phone, or an app like Evernote that you use to catch fresh inspiration that could potentially become posts, webinars, packages, or programs. It can also be used to collect other people’s great ideas so that you can use them as inspiration.
Anything that kicks up your creativity is swipe worthy. I’ve swiped quotes from overheard conversations; sentences in books; themes from other bloggers’ posts; and even images from Pinterest.
Remember, swiping is not the same as stealing or plagiarizing. Never take credit for another person’s work. That’s just wrong. But, if you use an idea as a springboard to your next great idea, that’s ok. You’re simply adding adding more value to the conversation.
The goal isn’t to copy their words, concepts, or ideas. The goal is to expand, elaborate, or enhance their concepts and make them your own. Swipes are there to jog your memory or to motivate you to create something new and relevant.
I have a couple of Swipe Files that I carry with me everywhere. One is Evernote; the other is a battered, old-school notebook that’s tucked inside my purse.
Whenever something I read, hear, or see sparks a flash of insight, I’m prepared. I can’t tell you how many of my ideas are floating in the ethers because I forgot them before I could write them down.
Swipe files help you keep a running list of ideas, themes, topics, turns of phrase, and metaphors to make sure you’re never at a loss for inspiration when it’s time to sit down and write.