Inktober Day 10: Take Note, Write it Down

Ink on Gel Printed Paper – Words: Sung By Roberta Flack

She saw a man performing on stage and was awestruck by his style and presentation. He had a simple voice, a kindness about him, and he was as yet rather unknown. The performer was Don McLean and the woman was Roberta Flack. She then worked with two song writers to pen this tune…which became the number one hit of 1973, won 2 Grammies in 1974 and propelled her career towards stardom. The song lyrics are as follows:

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style. And so I came to see him and listen for a while. And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes… Strumming my pain with his fingers, Singing my life with his words. Killing my softly with his song, telling whole my life with his words…

We never know when our own inspiration and amazement will arrive. It can creep upon us like a breaking dawn, or bump into us at a bar. Ideas are fickle things and often come and go like leaves falling from the trees, swept away before we know it by the winds of the day leaving us working hard to remember that idea or thought that made our current project complete. If we fail to pay attention to these moments, if we arrogantly brush them aside then we have missed our chance to make something out of nothing. We have lost what could be a great gift which will never return again.

I learned this lesson many decades ago and was encouraged by a great friend to write things down. She actually gave me my first sketch book where I have been storing ideas ever since. I am now on book number four. The discipline of writing things down gives our brains time to process it all, remember it better than if we type or text it, and provides a safe place for our ideas to rest until we are ready to bring them to life.

It may seem a little old school, okay. I agree. My comment to that is for centuries people have been writing things down to remember them, and paper was the vehicle they utilized. Worked for them, works for me…no one wants to read text messages from Leonardo DaVinci instead of seeing his own handwriting. Note: I saw an exhibit on Davinci’s studio and he actually drew out his grocery list because his helpers could not read or write…and he did that on paper.

If you have read this blog for a while you will know that I GREATLY encourage people to write things down. It is a habit and discipline that has served me well. We never know when that next great song, poem, idea or creation will come from, so we have to be prepared. Part of doing the work is being open and ready for inspirations to hit AND what to do with that inspiration once we have discovered it. You could write the next song of the year simply after being inspired by a guy you saw playing a guitar. His inspiration could change your career, that’s what happened to Roberta Flack. So take note, write it down…

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