Fresh Ideas

"Ideas won't keep -- something must be done about them." Alfred North Whitehead

I think every creative person learns this...sometimes we learn the hard way, when we have lost an idea and it is seemingly gone forever. The worst thing you can think about an idea is "I don't need to write that down. It's too fantastic an idea to forget." (at best you will remember you had an idea...but that will be the only smoke that remains.) That idea is long gone. (Color Notes on my phone has saved many an idea from this fate and it is absolutely the favorite application I have on my phone. Hands down).

The same truth also happens even after you have captured an idea and you let it be ignored for too long. If you on't at least come visit your idea once in a while, it will leave you to find another creative spirit. How many times has something new come out that reminds you of something you thought of years ago? Yup. You snooze, you lose, my friend.

Now of course, it's impossible to work on all ideas simultaneously (trust me, I have tried) but it IS possible to visit your ideas and play with them, show them our love and stay connected so they don't leave. I do this one of three ways (or any combination therein):

1. Freewrite -- Absolutely, hands own, Freewriting has been a saving grace for me. It helps me write regardless of my mood and it keeps thoughts going on for my different projects. Over the month of May, I did a freewrite for each of my 35 fiction projects that I have started. (I started doing them for my 30 nonfiction projects as well, but only have about 10 of them done so far).

2. Random prompts -- Monica Wood's two editions of The Pocket Muse help with this because she has a prompt for every day of the year (times two). I will draw a story title out of a box, pick a prompt, and write a scene.

3. Talking to others -- I have a group of about five people who are amazing at keeping my novels straight in their minds and I can just start up a "So I was thinking about doing this for Back on Track,and they will be right there with me.

Find a way to capture your ideas. Visit them on a regular basis. You'll thank me later.