Something I heard long ago was about a songwriter who would frequently hear tunes while driving. Like, original tunes, only in the mind. And it was frustrating, because while driving it’s hard to write down music (this was before cell phones and inexpensive voice recorders, but you get the idea).
The moral was, train your inspiration to come when you’re ready for it. Not when it’s convenient for your muse.
Somewhere in Stephen King’s On Writing, or perhaps in one of the interviews he’s given about writing, he says that the way he writes is to start at the same time every morning, write the same number of hours, take the same breaks. His inspiration comes during that time.
Certainly he may get ideas while showering, or taking out the trash. Notebooks and recorders are handy in that way. But mostly he puts ideas to paper during that time when he’s set down to write.
Thankfully, we are never lacking in ideas. Good, bad, indifferent, we think things up every day. Many aren’t original. Some are. Of the original, many are terrible. Some aren’t.
As Seth Godin says, ““If you put enough bad ideas into the world, sooner or later your brain will wake up, and good ideas will come.”
I thought of this because as I was waking up two mornings ago, I heard a whole song. An original song. I got as much of it down as I could, as I was just waking up and fumbling with the recorder. I unfortunately haven’t trained my muse in the same way.