Keeping Up with Ideas

My head is always full. Sometimes with useful information. Fridays are my favorite reads at the Live to Write – Write to Live blog (link to story at the end).

It’s ideas for me. Sure, writing ideas as well.

What Didn’t Work:

  • I used to have sticky notes everywhere and then, from frustration, I’d put all the sticky notes in a conventional spiral notebook, trying to create some order. This note had to be cut in half and the other half taped to some other page—agh. No more.
  • I tried tablets. I had one by my desk, another in the kitchen, the car had at least one with several pens. The bedroom, shame, I had three or four, some pulled from other areas of the house. Not working for me.
  • A voice recorder works great for keeping the ideas. That’s just it. The ideas stay there because I’m off working on something else and six months or more have passed before I realize some transcription needs to be done. While transcribing, I get distracted by something on the recorder and I’m starting all over again in six months with transcribing the rest of the tape.
  • Journal…see voice recorder above and realize I rarely reread anything I’ve written in my journal.

What Works

  • Whiteboards. There’s one in the kitchen that’s half whiteboard, half cork. I have one in my office that’s approximately 3′ by 2′, all whiteboard and magnetic. Wet and dry markers are a must for my office. Fine and chisel tip, a lot of colors. If I had enough wall space, every surface in the room would be whiteboard material (you can get it in rolls and sheets), with some dedicated to current writing projects.
  • Cameras. No idea where I would be without my digital camera and plenty of hard drive space on the computer (salute to hubby). See, when the whiteboard gets gapped from projects finished and ideas developed, I don’t have to wipe and carefully rescript the remaining items. I point the camera and take a photo of the few things left on the board.
  • Cameras. No, you’re not misreading and I’m not miswriting. My digital camera is also an extension of my eyes and brain, even my emotions. I take it with me nearly everywhere I go. If I don’t, that’s when something hilarious or magnificent occurs and I miss the photo. “Three elderly men gathered around a single picnic table, bundled in hats and coats against the wind rolling up the river canyon.” Unfortunately, I missed the shot; fortunately, my mind remembered from the blur left in the digital photo set.
  • Two refillable leather notebooks. One brown and one black. Just two. One lives in my purse, the purse chosen simply because the notebook fit. The other is kept beside my bed when there are are times when my mind will not let me sleep until I have emptied it of what it feels are the lists it requires. I use the normal orientation of the notebook for descriptive writing. I turn it upside down and write from what would be the back for check lists and other temporary scribbles.
  • Closet doors. Windows will work if you’re willing to sacrifice the view and light. Here’s where either 3″ by 5″ cards or sticky notes do justice to their existence. Plot and character decisions are perfectly relocatable, repositionable, replaceable and saveable. And that’s the only good use for sticky notes. Otherwise I get myself into a mess again.

Love to hear what you’ve got. ©2012 Sandra Davidson
And here’s that link I promised.

Friday Fun – Fave tricks to sneak writing into your day « Live to Write – Write to Live.

2 responses to “Keeping Up with Ideas

    • You’re a few steps ahead of me. I don’t know what’s for dinner. So my belly is empty and my head is full. And my heart, a part of it, is with a bamboo flute and piccolo playing woman near Seattle.

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