Thursday, July 16, 2020

How to not lose your ideas!

You walk into the room, flip on the light switch, and stare…wondering why you came in here to begin with. Memory can be tricky. And if you’re a writer you’ve undoubtedly lost ideas. So, ‘How do you write down or remember those great ideas that you get mid-shower/dream/car ride?’?

My chronic disease sometimes pals along with brain fog. If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself blessed. If you read my description below and it resonates with you, my heart goes out to you, let me know if you need an electronic hug.

Brain Fog: symptoms of mental fatigue. Sometimes involving memory, mental clarity, mental fatigue, loss of concentration, not feeling like yourself…similar to mentally wading through thick fog. 

So the question remains, how do I remember those lightening-bolt book ideas when they strike? Maybe it really depends on what kind of lightening you get.  

Book concept ideas. The big ones that undoubtedly have rolling thunder follow. When these hit I prefer to ruminate on them for a while. I read a post by John Scalzi, likely the same one Jeffe referred to on Sunday, in which he talked about his story selection process and if his idea still sounds good after a year he figures that it’s worth writing. Trust me, the good ones stick around.

Writing ideas. Cloud to cloud lightening. Plot fixes, characters, world building, magic, transitions…etc. It never fails, these kinds of ideas hit at the least convenient of times. In the shower, driving, cooking, weeding the garden. Basically anytime I’m far away from my computer and can’t immediately start writing out the genius idea. And too many times I’ve been struck, but couldn’t get to my computer or find some paper to write down the perfect fix…and then forgotten it. 

I’m pretty terrible at recalling those perfect fixes, sucky brain fog. But I do have a secret weapon. He’s been with me longer than I’ve been without him, we’ve grown up together, he’s always got my back, he’s more important to me today than he was in the beginning, and today we’ve officially been married for 15 years! (I wish we were back in Ten Sleep WY) Technically we’ve been together for 21 years and it’s safe to say he knows how my brain works and how it’s going to work. Which is why he bought me…this is where I divulge my insider tip: 

I have mini notebooks, everywhere. Along with a pen. 

My handsome man bought me a handful of mini moleskine notebooks for my birthday a few years back and I keep one in each of our vehicles, always one or two in my purse, one in my nightstand and one in the kitchen. Always within reach and always on hand. 

I couldn’t keep track of my writing ideas with out my notebooks and I couldn’t make it through life without him. So, thanks for the moleskines, Jon, and thanks for these past amazing years. I’m looking forward to the next 15, happy anniversary.

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