Day 16: Be Ready

Creative ideas and opportunities can crop up at any time of the day and just about anywhere. Being ready for those creative moments is another thing altogether. The concept of being better prepared for creative ideas and opportunities in our life isn’t rocket science, but for a lot of us, it’s usually an afterthought or a “wish I had” when the moment is upon us.

Being ready for these creative moments can make all the difference in your creative life.

Be Ready to Capture Ideas

If you’re anything like me, creative ideas, or what I like to refer to as “creative nuggets”, present themselves at the most unexpected times and seem to be brought on by seemingly routine tasks. Moments like when you’re folding clothes, driving your car, sitting in the hair salon or barbershop, waiting for your kids to get done with practice, digging in the garden; these ideas also seem to present themselves at some of the most inconvenient times, too. How many times have you been right in the middle of taking a shower and as your mind wanders, “shazaam!” a great idea pops into your head.  As the thought slowly fades, we hurry to finish our shower then, while we’re all dripping wet, we try to track down a pen and paper. It sure would’ve been nice to have had that paper and pen ready near the shower.

For me, “creative nuggets” come in rapid fire, and usually more than one at a time. Does this happen to you?

Aside from random creative thoughts, things we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste can also trigger creative ideas. The scenarios are endless and unique for each individual. It all boils down to the same question though… Are you prepared to capture those incredibly brilliant nuggets?

So how do we ready ourselves for those unexpected moments?

First, note the places where you usually get creative ideas, then identify the tools you prefer to use to capture your “creative nuggets” for each of those places.  Next, for each identified place, decide where the most convenient place is to store and access your preferred tools. Then, put your plan into action.

Here are just a few potential tools you can use:

  1. Pen or pencil and ruled notepad
  2. Electronic device such as an iPad or smart phone (with note taking or voice recording applications)
  3. Idea note pad (one page is ruled for writing and the other page is blank or each page has both a ruled section and blank section) – these are great!
  4. Audio recorder
  5. Use text messaging or voice mail to send your ideas to yourself
  6. Post-it notes
  7. Small dry erase board
  8. Camera or camera phone

I’m sure you can come up with more ideas.  The important thing is to put your plan into action.


Be Ready for Creative Bursts

Do you prepare for regular creative time or for times when you can create for hours non-stop? For most of us, scheduling creative time or preparing for unplanned creative marathons is an afterthought or is a less priority to life’s other plans.

Sure, we all know that daily life routines can and do interrupt our creative moments, and that some life events just cannot be planned for.  But what about the ones that we can plan for?

Unless living a more creative life revolves around cooking, baking and such, our mealtimes can be one of the biggest time and creative killers in our lives.  This is especially true when we have a burst of creative energy and the last thing we want to do is make lunch or dinner or go out to eat.

If serving your family a quick microwavable meal either makes you feel guilty or is simply out of the question, then cooking or eating out is your only option. Or is it?

With a little forethought and preparation, we can make certain that we have quick delicious and nutritious meals readily available for those times we just need to “create”.

One of the best ways to be better prepared for unplanned creative moments is to make several meals ahead of time and freeze them.  Meals like enchiladas, meatloaf, casseroles, pizza, you name it.  Some people like to carve out one day a month to cook and prepare meals in advance.  For folks with very limited time, it might be easier to double up on recipes here and there then save and freeze enough for a complete meal when you need it.

Another good option is to make meals in a Crockpot. There are several great recipes out there and it can really save a lot of time.  Though this option can be a time saver, it really does not fully prepare for spontaneous creative moments as well as freezing meals in advance.  It’s still real handy though.

Whatever option you choose just be sure to keep your clean up to a minimum.  You can always toss your dishes into the dishwasher if “throw away” plates or utensils “creep” you out.  If “throw aways” are an option, keep the following on hand at all times:

  • paper plates (not the flimsy ones – purchase the more substantial ones and the nicer looking the better)
  • heavy-duty disposable utensils
  • disposable cups
  • disposable napkins (again, make these really nice ones with a beautiful pattern on them)

You’ll thank yourself for being better prepared for your creative time.  Your spouse will thank you and your family will thank you.  They’ll be even more appreciative if you also plan ahead by making and freezing a sweet treat to go with your fabulous meal 🙂

Now if your spouse does all the cooking and clean-up… congratulations! You might consider picking up a special sweet treat on your way home to show your appreciation 😀

Go to the next post in my series: Day 17: Share Creative Time with Others

Many Blessings,



Being the gardener that I am, I have to share. The black mission fig tree I planted this past February, which by the way was a wee short twig and is now about 4 feet tall with leaves galore, is finally starting to get some figs.  Not just a few, but a lot.  I’m sooooo excited. I’m hopeful they will mature before we get our first frost. 

It’s the simple things in life that make me happy 🙂



Filed under Art & Creativity

5 responses to “Day 16: Be Ready

  1. Lois Zablockis

    Microwave bags or boing bags are a great resource also. Just heat/boil and toss, but does require some prep time.

  2. Lois Zablockis

    How can you tell when a fig is ripe enough to harvest? Are you already planning how you are going to use your figs?

    • Hi Lois,
      Figs are one of those fruits that you have to let ripen on the tree. Once picked, the fruit does not continue to ripen. To tell if a fig is ready to harvest, lightly squeeze the fruit to see if it is soft or look at the neck of the fig. The neck will collapse and the fig will droop when ripe. The fruit must be harvested quickly – figs can have a tendency to go bad very quickly.

      If this first fruit crop is successful, I plan to just eat them fresh 😛

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