"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."
- Dr. Linus Pauling
"Somehow, I can't believe that there are any heights to be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. The special secret it seems to me is summarized in four C's. They are Curiosity, Courage, Confidence and Constancy. And the greatest of all is Confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably."
- Walt Disney
As I sit sipping coffee, waiting on the rest of the household to rise and shine and prepare for another wonderfully unrestful vacation day of trudging through a theme park, I can't help but look back over what the vacation has brought so far.
One thing it hasn't brought, clearly, is rest. The drive down was tiring, and we rose early the next day to enter our first park, Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure. We took a day after down in the hot tub to soak out the pain the exertion had brought to our feet and legs, but the next day was filled with tours through the Magic Kingdom while today Disney's Hollywood Studios looms ahead.
Inspiration, though, it's brought, and that by the bushel.
I'm not referring to inspiration solely in its creative sense. Keep in mind that The Free Online Dictionary (www.thefreedictionary.com) defines inspiration as "Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity." Thus, inspiration is anything that gets the creativity going.
A trip to Harry Potter land did that. True, in the creativity arena it got me thinking, as did the rest of Universal Studios. More importantly for me, it put the wealth generation possibilities of a great idea right smack in my face. There were thousands of people there, all having spent nearly a hundred dollars just to get in, putting more money into butterbeer and wands and trinkets. With every sale, I saw a few pennies flying toward JK Rowling, the creator of the world.
Brilliant, that. It made me a little green, it was so brilliant.
Disneyland is no less a financial inspiration for creativity. Walt Disney left his name emblazoned in the minds of children for centuries to come--and he left quite an estate, to boot. That bit all started with an animated mouse. Go figure.
I won't say I don't envy their success, no matter how gracious such a statement would be. I don't see how anyone who fancies themselves a creative person wouldn't hold some envy, frankly. Regardless, it brings a question to front and center: what IS the next Harry Potter?
Yes, I'm the guy who stood up in the session about the agent relationship and told a couple of agents that I'd written it--the next Harry Potter that they'd just finished saying every agent feared to reject. Big on bravado, indeed, but even I know it was short on truth. Cataclysm is a good book, but it's not the endearing tale that will worm its way into the hearts of millions. What is, then?
Well, that's the $64,000 question. Or, more likely, the billion dollar question. Everybody's asking it, too. All I can do is keep writing, and while on vacation, keep wandering the theme parts picking up on bits and pieces of ideas. It's here, somewhere. I know it.
With that said, off to Hollywood Studios.