Monday, March 2, 2009

Idea Journal

March has finally arrived and though Spring won't come knocking until next month in my neck of the woods, I'm breathlessly anticipating it. Who doesn't love apple blossoms, tulips poking up the winter ground, and longer, sunshine-filled days?

Secret Street

Photo by Katmere

Since March is here, and I'm feeling jolly, it's the perfect time to continue our talk about ideas.

One of the best things you can do to trap ideas is to write them down. While writing an idea on a piece of scrap paper can work in a pinch, I'm urging you to write all ideas in an Idea Journal. Any attractive, bound journal will do. When you jot ideas down in a central location, they take on greater importance. You also don't lose time looking for them--they're in the same place all the time.

But what do you write down? That's easy. First, I recommend writing down the date. Then, write whatever you feel will jog your memory. Everyone's journal will look different.

Sometimes I write several pages about one idea. Other times, I'll write a few words. For example, I watched a television program about gambling addictions last night, and I thought maybe I could use the information in a future book. So I wrote a brief description of the show, the name of it, the station it aired on, and possible ways to use the information in an upcoming book. It took about two minutes. Easy!

For those of you not used to paying attention to the ideas running around in your head, the journal might feel a tad strange at first. You might feel like you should write down only the "good ideas." You might be intimidated by the blank page or feel the need to have flawless penmanship. I'm giving you permission to write down ALL ideas. Be sloppy if you must. (Hey, it would take a hieroglyphics expert to decipher my writing!) Just start writing ideas down.

Questioned Proposal
Photo by eleaf

You probably will never use all of the ideas in your journal, but you'll get in the habit of paying attention. What do I mean by that? Well, everyday you're inundated with information and it can be difficult to sift through and realize what could be a story and what couldn't. By taking a few minutes once a day (or once a week) and writing down anything that jumps out at you, your brain will begin tagging new information related to the idea. More information will come!

Join me on Wednesday when we'll look at expand on our idea theme.


Get Motivated! It's Monday!

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