Ideas, for everything

Many of you know that I've been writing for a long time -- I started a journal in 8th grade when I was having stupid girlfriend problems one week. That led to writing my random thoughts on paper up until my early 20s. The journal lost some of its regularity when I was in college and then gradually came to an end after my first real-world job. Part of me wants to dig out the box of journals to see what my last entry was -- I think it was around the time my now-wife and I started dating, or shortly after we got engaged.

The time and energy it took to write about my thoughts led to the end of those journal days.

This running blog -- which will turn 4 years old in just a few months -- is definitely an outlet, but lately all of my thoughts seem stuck. I sit down to type and nothing good comes out.

This isn't just about writing about running. My creativity at work -- in which I write and edit -- feels like it's lacking too. I feel like I have good ideas that aren't coming out like they usually do.

At home I'll have an idea about how to arrange something, or think of something that I should sell that I no longer use, only to not do it. Sometimes I go for a run and think of cool things, and then do nothing about it.

I'm not sure why this is happening, but usually writing helps everything else make sense. Last week at work a co-worker sent me a video with the title "Where good ideas come from." The speaker was Steven Johnson.

This video takes a unique look at how "aha moments" aren't really all that "aha" or "Eureka!" Good ideas take time and evolve into even bigger things. (You can view the video here.)

When I was watching the video that I realized what I needed to do -- I need to write down my thoughts ... on everything. Today I finally took that huge leap of buying some pens and a journal.

My plan, quite simply, is to take this book with me anywhere I go. I want to write down ideas about life or work or running; I want to resurrect ideas I had 15 years ago about writing a play. No idea is off the table.

Of course it won't work to take on a run, but I need to write down my thoughts and ideas. I need new blog posts; I need my creativity at work to flow better; I need words. ...