Writing ideas and plot solutions sprout in the spring rain of my shower practically every day. It gets pretty crowded in there, but I love the company. As the steam obscures the mirror layer by layer, the reverse is happening in my mind; the problem is slowly peeled back, eventually revealing the heart of the solution. I’d stay in there all day if I didn’t mind puckered fingertips and astronomical water bills. So, I had to come up with other ways to unlock that glorious bounty — and I had to have a plan. I’m a big one for plans. Eventually the blueprint was handed down to me in the form of a recipe, curtesy of the shower god.

The recipe is as follows: Turn off or mute all electronic devices to zero degrees

Start with a place with no interruptions

Add a mindless, automatic task

Mix gently with silence

Let the magic happen

The first time I read this, I felt the shower god had betrayed me. Was that a self-satisfied giggle I heard from behind the plastic curtain? I’ve got a full time job, a family, pets, household chores, appointments, and social obligations. And no chance of finding silence in this century.
There’s no way . . .

Yet, I found a way. With what my husband lovingly refers to as my little ant ways I persevere. Oh, yes I do. I work at something little by little until I have accomplished my task. Here I reveal my treasure map. Each X marks a spot in my book of successes vetted through my recipe.

X – Washing dishes (no worries – everyone will leave you alone unless they want to be put to work) 10 – 15 minutes

X – Driving to work in rush hour traffic in silence. 30 minutes

X – Walking alone or walking the dogs alone. 30 minutes

X – Chauffeuring the kid (After I dropped him off — while I waited for practice or enrichment class to be over – phone on mute) 30 to 60 minutes
X – Investing in a great babysitter or let Grandma spoil the little darling. Priceless

The idea was to get my mind off writing or anything else that was taking up space in there. So, I kicked out the minutia, muzzled that mewling cat I call my inner critic and let the Wild Rumpus begin. Creativity is like a child who can’t sit still in a chair, the one who blurts out random thoughts and uncensored truths — the beginnings of great ideas. Yes, while the cat’s away the mind will play.