If you’re anything like me, you may find that you do some of your best thinking while in the shower. Not sure what it is – the ambient sound of the running water, the solitude, the steam – but whatever it is, I often find myself turning into a modern-day renaissance man. In my mind, in that eight to ten minute period, I’ll develop useful inventions and concoct business plans, I’ll perform a killer stand-up comedy routine and maybe even give a passionate stump speech. Often, I’ll think about my day or my week and relive interactions and conversations I may have had, and I play them back, thinking about what I said and formulate what I wish I had said. I’m sure that’s not unique to me – we all sometimes wish we had the ability to say exactly what we want to say, exactly when we want to say it. But for one reason or another – I always put together the best retort, the best comeback, the best counter argument when I’m in the shower!
Unfortunately for me, those moments of inspiration are often fleeting. I sometimes find myself later in the day trying to remember that killer idea I had when I was in the shower that morning.
“How did I word that exactly?”
“What was the name of that new search engine idea I had that would take the world by storm?” (Haha) Kidding here, but you get the point!
That’s what happened to me one day a little over two years ago. In the shower, just like any other day, and I randomly uttered a sentence to myself. Not sure why, not sure where it came from – and instantly it felt in my mind like the opening line to a novel. A novel that I did not have a plot for, or a setting for, or any real context for. Not even a main character. Just a sentence and nothing more. But this time, rather than shrugging it off, I was compelled to cut my shower solitude short. I quickly toweled off and opened the laptop and typed out that opening sentence with the towel still wrapped around my waist just to make sure I didn’t lose it (the sentence, not the towel). It’s not a very remarkable sentence, it’s actually really ordinary – but for some reason I needed to type it out. Soon, I had a paragraph, and then another, and then another. And what started out as an opening sentence transformed into an opening scene. But what was it exactly? A book? That’s ambitious of me – I’m not what you’d consider a writer. While I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing – I never attempted writing anything on any sort of large scale.
Well, a few years have passed and after starting and stopping and putting it on the backburner for several months at a time as “life” got in the way, I’ve decided to revisit my random shower inspiration. I’ve found myself thinking about it more of late, and after pulling it back out and re-reading and tweaking and adding a few more scenes, I figured why not make it a little pet project? A little hobby to pass the time. Still not sure what it is exactly that I have, but my thought is that I’ll share it on here in segments as I continue to flush it all out. Hopefully it will find some of your eyes and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to receive some feedback from those more seasoned writers out there! Wherever it goes, it’s becoming a fun little passion project for me – writing down ideas, outlining series of events, scribbling down potential characters and traits – creating a universe out of seemingly nothing at all. I get the appeal and envy those that have been able to truly commit the time necessary to master the craft.
There’s another valuable life lesson in all this… take notes! Have a notebook and pen at the ready for those random periods of inspiration that are often fleeting. I know I’m preaching to the choir on here – nothing that most of you all don’t already know. But for me at least, there isn’t always “quiet time” to contemplate and reflect and hash out ideas. When they come to me in a time of chaos – they’re often gone just as quickly as they came. My current job affords me the ability to work from home predominantly when I’m not traveling. It’s both a blessing and a curse, but one thing that I never would have thought I’d miss is the commute. That 45 minutes to an hour of windshield time, alone with my thoughts – contemplating the day ahead – or recapping the day and winding down on my way home was valuable time that’s lost. Slamming the laptop shot and walking to the kitchen is a great commute, don’t get me wrong – but there is value in having some time to yourself to reflect and plan and become inspired for whatever it is you do.
So, whether you’re like me and do your best thinking in the shower – or during your commute, or at the gym – or wherever… take some notes. You never know what that random lightning bolt of inspiration is gifting you! As for my story, I hope to begin sharing it with you in the coming weeks. As for me, I’m going to keep on writing and taking showers. If this writing thing doesn’t work out at least I’ll be clean.
3 responses to “Random Shower Thoughts”
My brain has its fair share of ‘showerthoughts’ moments, mostly during mundane activities like walking the dog or washing the dishes. Sadly, these are also moments that make it hard to record my thoughts, but it’s true, we really do need to make the effort to note them down, or else, even our best ideas will be gone forever. Thanks for this post!
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Thanks for the comment, Stuart – glad it resonated! Dog walking and dish washing, those are good ones too. I used to really enjoy taking my dogs out at night.
[…] for the story itself, the opening scene began as a random shower thought, something that came to me one day inexplicably. To prevent losing it forever, I quickly typed it […]