Write. It. Down.

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I constantly keep a notebook with me. I have a full sized one on my bedside table. I carry a tiny one in my purse. And I have several others laying here and there around the house. I do this so I can write down those little sparks of ideas that could one day turn into a full blown story or something. I know if I didn’t have something to write them down on, I’d probably forget well over half of them. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve taken several ideas and been able to connect them in a story. Ideas I wouldn’t have unless I’d written them down.

There’s a flaw in my system though. I only found it today. It actually has nothing at all to do with what I write in the notebooks, but rather what I do not write. Just before NaNoWriMo this year, I was suddenly flooded with a lot of great story ideas based off music I was hearing while compiling my writing playlist. Music is oftentimes a big factor in my story ideas. I hear snippets of songs and soon enough, full on stories are folding out before my eyes. It’s great when it happens. However, I really needed to put these story ideas on hold for a month or so since NaNo was quickly approaching. So, I made another playlist called “Stories.” I loaded it up with every song that was sparking ideas at the time. It was the perfect way to store all my nice little story ideas in one place to be returned to later.

You might see where this going. It’s 13 days after NaNo now and I’ve returned to that playlist – to all my great story ideas. Where’s the flaw you might ask? Those songs aren’t sparking anything now! Sure, I saved them so that I would have story ideas later. I didn’t write anything anywhere though about what story ideas these songs were sparking! All those nice little plots that were unfolding before me aren’t there anymore and the songs seem a little bit useless to me now.

I’m going to leave these songs on that playlist in hopes they might spark something again someday. It just saddens me that I lost so many ideas because I failed to write things down. Followers, I want to remind you that it isn’t enough to just have notebooks laying around. Sure, they’re pretty and they draw some interest, but simply having them doesn’t make you a writer. You have to fill those pages. Remember to write things down – even if it doesn’t seem important at the time. Don’t take your ideas for granted. Don’t think they’ll be there tomorrow.

I learn more and more everyday that it is so important to write things down. I’m grateful for being able to remember the things I do, but I know my brain can’t store everything. I’ve even gotten to the point that I jot down the bad ideas – even if it’s not in great detail. Write down all your ideas – you never know when they’ll come in handy. So readers – what are your methods for remembering ideas? Do you journal? Jot it down in an app? Break out the laptop everytime? Do you keep it all meticulously organized or do you just let it sit in a creative jumble? I’d love to know your thoughts – tell me all about it in the comments. For now, take care and happy writing – or whatever it is you lovelies do (:

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10 thoughts on “Write. It. Down.

    1. I have notebooks just full of notes and ideas. Literally – just tons! I have no idea why I thought I’d remember exactly what ideas were coming from all that music. Should have known better. *facepalm* I’ll remember to write it down next time for sure. Gotta learn from your lessons I suppose.

  1. I have different notebooks for each story. You know the ones—they go on sale in August 10/$1 or some such cheap price. I have a to-do sort of bullet journal. A personal journal, and lots of 5″ x 7′ legal pads for spur of the moment notes and ideas. Plus, I have StumbleUpon and Pinterest folders. Eventually, all my scratchings make their way into the right notebook.
    I hate, hate, hate the middle of the night ideas. Too many times, I’ve scratched out the gist of it by the flashlight app on my phone.
    I’m sorry you lost your inspired by music ideas. Fingers crossed they’ll come back or be replaced by more amazing ideas.

    1. Thanks so much Cheryl – all the luck is definitely needed for those lost ideas! But it’s alright. Many more ideas to come and now I know better. I’m very much like you. I’ve loaded up on so many notebooks over the years. Now they’re just everywhere. I probably have too many. But really – can one have too many notebooks? Lol. Most of my notebooks aren’t organized at all – just my main writer’s notebook which has a clear table of contents. I can thank my high school creative writing teacher for that habit. Pinterest is where organization comes in for me more than anywhere else I guess.

  2. I am a big believer in jotting down things too. The biggest problem I faced was organizing these “entries” if you will. So I just carry around an even smaller notebook in my backpack. Once a week I transfer them over to Evernote. Sure it’s tedious and time consuming but I am able to quickly reference and cross reference stuff I need. Now the problem is that I do not jot down more often than I should

    1. Definitely sounds tedious, but Evernote is great for organization. I don’t organize my stuff at all – it’s just in random notebooks all over the place. But for the most part, I know where everything is. I should probably start using colored tabs or something.

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