My Brain Is Itchy…And There’s No Cream For That

By Lauren Gaggioli

Perhaps it is excitement over the new virtual mastermind for entrepreneurs that I'll begin leading this month. Or maybe it’s the 500+ words I’m writing for my novel most days. Or maybe it’s the conference for solopreneurs that I just came home from attending at Walt Disney World that fuses two of my most favorite things: entrepreneurship and Disney. 

Or maybe this is just where I end up with surprising regularity when I cannot shut down my brain because the ideas will not stop flooding in.

Whether for one or all of those reasons or some others unknown, I’m here at my computer. At 1 in the morning. Before a 5:30am alarm is set to ring so I can record episodes for my podcast before my kids wake up.

At times like these, my brain is a kaleidoscope of words. I usually don’t think in words, but - when I’m in this state - verbal fragments pour in. I cannot keep them at bay. They scratch at my brain, begging to be written down.

So here I am, typing up copy for the podcast I'm recording that links Harrison Ford’s on-set dysentery during the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Oregon Trail in what seems absolutely hilarious to my sleep-deprived brain.

Dysentery. Harrison Ford. Fording a river. Oh my gosh! Can I work in River Phoenix too?!

I am here making connections between Steven Spielberg’s keen abilities for improvisation and collaboration that have led to some of the most incredible moments in cinema, often delivered via finely-tuned performances by child actors. This is something he clearly has a gift for eliciting and very likely because of those aforementioned skills. What can we as parents learn from him?

I am here writing an argument that my protagonist gets into with her lover that came to me after pondering Spielberg’s greatness.

And I am here writing this because the title for this article cracked me up and it won’t leave me alone so I had to get it out of my head and into a document.

I’ve been listening to Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic on a loop these days. She’s helped me accept that these brain fevers that I have believed for so long to be a curse are actually an incredible gift.

They're entrepreneurial inspiration hand-delivered to my brain, all tied up with a bow.

I know many other entrepreneurs who receive this gift of demanding inspiration. It’s why we’re all up in the middle of the night and happy about it, or have idea lightning strike our brains in the shower so fast and hard that we drip soapy water all over the floor as we desperately search for a pen. 

We’re hearing the call and, if we’re wise, we will heed it. Because when the muse taps you on the shoulder, you get out of bed. You write it all down. And you say thank you for the gift.

This is the lovely kind of itch that you get to scratch for as long as it will let you.

Cloaked in velvety silence, we get to commune with whatever force dropped these treasures into our brains and clack away at our keyboards until creativity decides she needs to go dormant for a while to replenish her stores.

We must trust that she will return.

When she leaves us, we can keep adding kindling to the fire as best we’re able while we go it alone so that, when she does inevitably make her way back to us, she’ll find the fire tended and our minds prepared to plunge back in with her...even if she arrives past our bedtime.