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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thoughts

Do you find that when you're not physically writing, you are mentally writing - constantly?

I've really got to discipline myself to jot down every striking thought I have when I have them. My laziness in not doing this is losing me many potential articles and stories. Where do these thoughts go? I kid myself at the time that they'll still be there when I'm ready to write them down. I never learn. They disappear EVERY time!

How do we learn which thoughts to spend time focusing on, and which to throw away?

3 comments:

April said...

Sometimes I forget the notebook at home, so I call myself and leave myself messages. It's great except when my hubby gets home first :-).

Stacy Dawn said...

My mind whirls constantly and I jot it down on anything I can find, I've even done it on gum wrappers for the same reason...if I don't then I just have this vague memory of something that might have, given the chance, been really cool to write.

Sharon J said...

If there's one thing I've learned during the course of my writing career, it's to NEVER believe I'm going to remember an idea without somehow making a note of it.

I carry a small notepad and pen in my handbag at ALL times and have another in the glove compartment of the car. That way I know I can always make a quick note of anything that pops into my head. It really is no use thinking you'll remember them because it never happens. I also use my mobile phone as a reminder service. I've put the speech recorder on a short cut so one button is all I need to press to make a quick reminder.

When it comes to which to focus on and which to throw away, that's just something that comes with experience. I make a note of them all, then when I go back I can generally tell which of them are worth keeping and which aren't. And also which of them can be changed/developed into something else that's better than the original idea.

I also have an ideas folder on my PC that then split into two sub-folders, one for articles, one for fiction. Under that I have lots of files, each with names like "Society", "Environment", "Family" etc. In each I make notes of potential articles I could write. The same under fiction. I have "Romance Story Ideas", "Crime Story Ideas" etc. They don't necessarily have to be fully plotted ideas, just little bits and pieces that I've thought of at some time but that can be used either within a story, or developed into a story of its own.

Phew. Long comment. Hope it helped.

~Sharon