So, when you think of “what if”, your mind might drift to thoughts of doom and gloom and the ways in which people will assess all forms of potential threat to hopefully avoid catastrophe. They figure if they can anticipate every possible danger they can counter that danger and stay safe. And this is certainly one way in which the term can be applied even if, as I have found, it can cause you so much more worry than it’s worth!
But did you know that “what if” can also be an amazing tool to spark creative ideas?
A few years ago, I was writing in my journal before bed as I do most nights – unless I’m really tired and just can’t bring myself to put pen to paper!
I was writing away – about my day, about my desires and concerns – and I felt like I was sounding like a broken record, rehashing the same old things night after night – When is x going to happen? Why do I feel y all the time? And, frankly, I was getting bored with myself.
So, I decided to shake things up and play a game. I thought it would be fun to pick something, anything, in the world and make it different from how it currently was and look at the implications of that change. For example, what if the sky was yellow instead of blue? What would that mean? What else would be altered because of it?
I had no idea what was going to come up but, for some reason, the first idea that popped into my head was, what if cows really could jump over the moon? I’m not sure where the thought came from – it was likely a reference to the popular children’s poem, “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon” – you know the one – but the poem hadn’t presented itself to me in recent memory.
Anyway, I went with it. When the question arose I immediately countered it with another question – Would they even know to try? Would a cow be aware enough to make the attempt to jump over the moon even if they were physically capable of doing it?
I immediately started writing a story about a young cow named Mocha who wondered about everything and lived her life full of grand ideas and possibilities. One day, the farm where she lives is visited by a fiddle-playing cat named Jeb heading to a nearby town. Mocha, never having left the farm, starts to ask herself where she might like to go if she could go anywhere and discovers her mission to travel to the moon – for reasons I won’t disclose because they are pretty funny so you should probably read the story!
I found this story so engaging and endearing that it eventually became my first musical for young audiences, Mocha And The Moon, which, incidentally, you can read more about on the website if you would like your theatre company to perform it. Wink wink!
The point is, I made a conscious effort to get my head out of its hamster wheel and something wonderful and inspiring happened!
When you think outside the box, you never know what is going to arise. I just did the exercise this morning and found an entirely new world to explore – a little darker than my usual style but fascinating none the less!
So, I encourage you, when you are feeling like you are in a mental rut, to shake things up a little and see what comes pouring out. There are things you can do too – like walking in an area of town you’ve never explored before, trying a new activity. Anything that puts you in unfamiliar territory can get those creative juices flowing. You never know when inspiration is going to strike so why not give it a little room to play?
In Swimming Tigress news, I’ve just put up a lyric vid for the latest song from Ladybug Crossings, Bug On My Bubble! It has been a favorite in my family for years so I’m so excited to finally be sharing it with you all. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Swimming Tigress Music YouTube channel to see the ones I’ve already posted. Enjoy!