I’m sure all writers and bloggers would identify with me if I was to talk about the brilliant idea for an article, story or post that went missing. You’re having a shower or going for a walk and a fantastic idea pops into your head. You’re excited about it and then you forget to write it down and the next thing you know, it’s vanished! If you’re like me, there’s nothing more frustrating than something you’ve forgotten, nagging you all day. Even worse, is the sense of loss about an great idea that’s disappeared. I’m going to let you in on my secret of capturing and storing ideas when inspiration strikes.
“Be a collector of good ideas. Keep a journal. If you hear a good idea, capture it, write it down. Don’t trust your memory.” – Jim Rohn
Capturing and Storing Ideas When Inspiration Strikes
1. Record Ideas
We must never throw out an idea. Every story line, synopsis, character idea can be used at sometime. I don’t think I can stress strongly enough the need to write every idea down as soon as they occur. If we don’t, there’s a good chance we’ll never remember that perfect sentence or that great story line. The best way we can save ideas is perhaps to have a writer’s notebook or use and app – but neither of these are always handy. Keep memo pads in every room in your home – even the kitchen and your bathroom, in your car, handbag and just about any place you can think of. Let’s call these our ‘idea notebooks‘.
Use idea notebooks to :
- Jot down random ideas
- Draw mind maps
- Make lists
- Record snatches of conversation you’ve overheard
- Analyse your ideas.
- Worry about making the notes look pretty.
- Be concerned about organizing your ideas
2. Store Ideas
So what do I do with all the ideas recorded all over the place? I tug the pages out of the memo pads and store them. I’ve got myself a cardboard box – just an ordinary one which I hope someday to jazz up a little more, and I dump all the papers into it. I call this my ‘Inspiration Box.’
As a backup, when I’m free, I record and organize all my ideas onto Evernote too, as I’ve shared earlier.
In my ‘Inspiration Box’ I also store cut outs of magazine or newspaper articles and images that sparked an idea or even print outs of blog posts.
3. Refer to Ideas
When I’m short of ideas, I pick up a bit of paper and read through it. It could just be a simple quote or a the idea for a post. If I’m inspired to write on that topic, I go ahead with it. I love the randomness of it – a kind of a lucky dip of ideas. If the idea I picked doesn’t work for me at that point of time, I pick out another one. I don’t throw any of the ideas out.
Capturing your ideas can be a simple process. An inspiration box can be a great way to get over writer’s block.
What is your process for capturing your ideas?