The author of Eat, Pray, Love has written a motivational bestseller which can be summed up by these two concepts:
- Every one of us is inherently creative.
- Just do something and don't give two hoots what everyone else thinks.
Some reviewers are derisive over Gilbert's theory that ideas float through the air, received by people simultaneously. These critics can take umbrage all they want; for me, this is a truism that I tend to keep to myself, as people roll their eyes if I try to explain it. But, if you look through history, inventions often sprout up at the same time across the world, without interaction of the inventors. Historians and sociologists call this "multiple independent discovery."
Here are just a few examples:
- The electrical telegraph was invented by Charles Wheatstone in England in 1837 and Samuel F.B. Morse in the United States, in the same year.
- In 1876, Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent on the invention of the telephone on the same day.
- In 1896, two men independently discovered radioactivity: Henri Becquerel and Silvanus Thompson.
- The jet engine was independently invented by Hans von Ohain in 1939, by Secondo Campini in 1940 and by Frank Whittle in 1941.
Maybe ideas float around our combined consciousness, as a species, to be received by those with the best antennae! We are radio stations, attuned to pick up the frequencies of ideas. When I was very young, as a singer-songwriter in the UK, I had the chance to work with Tommy Boyce, the songwriter who had some terrific hits with the Monkees in the seventies. He nailed it for me. He said, "In the middle of the night, if I get a song idea or lyric, I better get my butt out of bed and write it down, or it will go back up the chimney and come down Paul McCartney's chimney."
I've been writing, in various formats, for many years. Whether songs, poems, screenplays, or fiction books, I have found there are myriad ways to assist in the reception of creative ideas.
- Play the "What If" game. With everything you hear, see, or read, ask yourself, "Well, what if..." Let loose. The crazier the better. The more you do this, the more you will do this! My husband Mark and I used this all the time when brainstorming our middle-grade fantasy, The Ravenstone: The Secret of Ninham Mountain.
- Keep a pen and pad by the bed. Ideas often swoop down in the middle of the night, the sneaky little buggers. 'Good Things Don't Come Easy,' the track of my last CD, came to me in the dead of night, forcing me to scurry to my keyboard and record the tune. The lyrics flowed almost perfectly with hardly an edit required.
- If you meditate, when you slowly come out of that state, ask if you can conjure up or see any ideas regarding whatever book, piece of artwork, or song you are working on. You are in a prime state to receive them at that time. This also works with dreaming. Before sleep, set an intention to receive ideas for your creative project.
- Be tenacious. Make consistent time to write, paint, or play in your creative format. Play with your subconscious mind. You can't be open to receive if you don't focus on it.
About Diane Solomon
Diane Solomon enjoyed a wonderfully diverse career path that included her own variety show on BBC TV and major tours with Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers. Her highly successful singing career has given way to her lifelong dream of being a writer. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband Mark Carey, on beautiful acres of woods and streams. They spend countless hours designing gardens and meadows, watching wildlife, and playing the "What If" game. Come visit them at EloquentRascals.com.
Follow Diane on Twitter: dianesolomon
If they succeed, what they bring back could change the course of human existence.
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on creativity and the process of gathering ideas, Diane!
How do you get your creative ideas? Let me know in the comments below!