Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I: Idea Book

I:  Earlier I wrote a post about gushing ideas.  In a continuation of that post, I suggest you keep an idea book for all the things you see, hear or otherwise notice that you might someday be able to incorporate into your reading. 

Most of you probably already do this. I've heard lots of writers say they keep a notebook by their bed to jot down things that come to them as they drift off to sleep.  I can't do that. I tend to fall asleep within seconds of putting my head on the pillow.  But I carry a spiral journal with me nearly everywhere I go.  My day planner has all kinds of notes jotted in that mean nothing to anyone but me.  And sometimes they don't mean anything to me either when I go back and look at them.

There are lots of things crowded into our heads.  Our jobs, day and writing, our families, the traffic as we drive, the bills we need to pay, even what's for dinner, and our brains do a better job organizing it than the smartest computer can do, but things get lost also.  We see something, read something and think to our self, I must remember that.  But if we don't write it down, there's a good chance we won't remember.  The thought is still there, dangling on some neuron buried in a tangle of other neurons and ideas, thoughts and whatever we need to survive the day.  Don't trust you'll be able to find that tiny speck of insight or spark of an idea you planted in your brain the day before or even the hour before.  If you can write it down. 

Do you keep an idea book? Where are you most often when inspiration strikes?


  1. I personally have several idea notebooks. One on my nightstand, one in whatever bag I'm carrying around, one in my locker at work, etc, etc, etc, because I know I won't remember an idea if I don't get it written down.

    I'm usually in the shower or at work when inspiration strikes.

  2. I collect notebooks and project books like nobody's business. I really need to downsize and have a single 'IDEAS' notebook.

    Fellow A-Z Bloggy Buddy
    Mithril Wisdom

  3. I have notebooks all over the place. Every now and then I go through them and type all the odd ideas and notes into files on the computer so I can throw them away and start a new notebook :-)

  4. Susan, I keep several books depending on where I am, an Ideas one for most of the ideas that come, one for my bag that can be transported around. I hate it when I forget any of them because I've swapped the contents of my bag, and if worst comes to the worst I use my phone to keep notes and then transfer it. I also keep a bedside one for when I wake up with an idea and know I won't remember it in the morning. Blessings, Amanda
    Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
    Art Blog

  5. I have three rings binders stuffed with ideas... And I keep a little note book in my purse, just in case.

  6. Hi Susan,

    I do keep notebooks and journals for writing down ideas, but I've also begun to use my iPhone's memo recorder. I've even been known to turn it on and place it on the shelf by my shower. :)

  7. Great idea for ideas! I keep mine in a different system (which I outlined in my posted-to-publish-at-midnight J-Day post on Working in Words.)

    I like your idea.

    Visiting as an A to Z blogger.

    All on Blogspot.com and all in the A to Z Challenge:

    Heart of a Ready Writer – Bible & Devotional
    Meme Express – Daily Blog Prompts (A to Z)
    Nickers and Ink – Featuring favorite classic poems from A to Z
    Practically at Home – See what fellow writers are cited – with article links!
    The Mane Point –Profiling special horses from A to Z
    Working in Words – Writing How-to’s

    Click my name/icon for links to all these blogs! Happy A-to-Z!

  8. I am a nightmare for thinking up great story ideas while working on another project. I find it hard to work on two things simultaneously, so new ideas get written down on index cards and go into my ideas box.

  9. My idea book is more like idea Post-Its. :) I have so, so many!

  10. no i don't keep an idea book---great post

  11. This challenge is really helping me to get some important information into my rather thick skull- this is such a good reminder to carry a notebook with me!!

  12. Great post!

    I keep an idea notebook with me at all times. In fact, I make sure all my coaching clients (I coach writers) to buy a pocketsize notebook and keep it with them at all times and use it to start "thinking" like a writer - getting used to writing down things they see that trigger ideas they could write about.

    Happy writing!

  13. Sometimes I text myself ideas so I don't forget.

  14. No, but I probably need to keep one.

  15. I use Post-its, a notebook, and a notepad ap that's on my cell. If I don't jot stuff down, I'll more than likely forget. And that's a bummer. :D