Friday, October 26, 2007

The Idea Factory...

You never know when a writing idea will pop up. I've gotten ideas from things I have read, people I've talked to, songs I've heard while driving and even while standing in line at the store. Then there's always the mad dash to write it down. I learned long ago that when a great idea comes to me I have to write it down or I'll forget. It could be the answer to world hunger, but by the time I get home to type it up, it'll be be gone or the details hazy: "What was that idea? Something about being hungry...Recipes for the rushed? No, that doesn't sound right..."

Every writer seems to have their own system for organizing ideas. Some use the pile method - each pile is it's own subject. Others use complex coding that only they know how to figure out. I use to use the "tons of scrap papers lying about" method. It's ingenious - I would write on everything about everything. At the end of the grocery list was an article idea. On the back of a receipt was a blog idea. Then when I got home I'd empty out my purse or diaper bag and drop it in a pile of "Do not touch!" The only problem - when you forget that you have something on the bottom of some random piece of paper and throw it out. Or your hubby or children think they're helping by throwing away piles of blog ideas/dry cleaning receipts. Genius down the drain.

Then I went to the notebook method. I carried around a small notebook and when an idea struck I wrote it down. All the ideas stayed in one nice, compact area. Unfortunately I'd forget about the idea notebook until I pulled it out again.

Now I'm trying a combo method - I write the ideas in a notebook then transfer them to a note card that I file away in an accordion folder labeled with general subjects. I've only been trying this method for two days, but so far it's working great!

What's your method?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I like your dual method approach - that sounds like it could work! I usually have about 4-5 notebooks going at a time... one in my purse, one in my desk at work, one in the kitchen, etc. It's not a very effective method b/c they also get cluttered with grocery lists.

I do like about it that every so often I find a "surprise" - an idea I had years ago that suddenly will work.

Let us know how your notebook/notecard method goes.