J.K. Rowling and the Action of Ideas

At 25 years old, J.K. Rowling sat on a train looking out a window when an idea popped into her head…

“Boy doesn’t know he’s a wizard, finds out he is, goes to wizarding school.”

The idea came fully formed into her mind. She returned home that evening and began to write.

5 years later, she finished the manuscript for “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone”. The years between writing and final publication are a story in, and of, itself. Rowling made a simple decision. She made a choice to take action. She wrote the idea down.

That action began a process towards creative momentum.

I began by writing down thoughts and feelings.

What started out as poetry eventually evolved into essays, observations, and explorations of personal experience. The process of writing (thinking on paper, or screen) taught me to act upon inspiration.

Writing down ideas made them solid. It taught me to follow through with my thoughts, developing a habit of consistency; molding effort into ease.

After a few months of doing this, I was given an idea that forever changed the trajectory of my life. A new path opened, and everything I ever wanted to be, wanted to do, came into focus.

I was sitting in a warehouse venting tire molds.

I was listening to Marc Maron’s podcast with Richard Linklater (The Writer/Director of “Dazed and Confused” and “Waking Life”) when they began to discuss his new film, “Boyhood”. A film I hadn’t seen at the time. While they were discussing it, an idea popped into my head that I could write a book using the same convention; by using “time” as a storytelling device.

Almost instantaneously, a book manifested within my mind’s eye. I saw the beginning and the end. The only unknown was what would be written in between…

Three years ago I started writing little poems on my iPhone notepad, tangential observations of my thoughts and the world around me.

After months of writing, I finally developed courage enough to share something.

I published “Detox, Recovery, and the Pursuit of a Dream

It was terrifying.

A soul opening experience that taught me to embrace the influx of emotion received when releasing parts of myself publicly.

8 months ago, I spoke to a camera for the first time. Taking my ideas and capturing them on film. (The “F” Word)

I was shell shocked. Frightened. Nervous. Anxious…All of it.

The discomfort experienced in front of a camera taught me to be stoic.

I’m still being taught.

6 months ago I published my first podcast. A story about a friend who passed away…

It was scary. I didn’t want to screw it up.

I was sweating the entire time, but I was focused.

I sat alone at my desk, talking quietly into the microphone; praying that I could capture a story that would feel. An experience that could provide a tangible emotion for someone to connect with.

28 years into my life and I had never felt more proud. Creating that podcast is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. (Inside the Minds Eye w/ Lucien Smith)

Two weeks ago I published an essay. A story about sharing in an AA meeting. (Thanks for Letting Me Share)

It wasn’t scary.

I loved writing it.

It felt good to release emotional energy to a blank screen.

The next day, I had another idea…

So I wrote it down.

And now, I’m expanding on it, evolving it, creating it.

I’m writing it. And, I’ll release it.

Because the only way I am able to receive more ideas is to release the ones I have.

And it started with writing down one idea, one thought; one poem.

A simple note.

Like this one:

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