A very long time ago, I remember reading a little meme or something of the sort saying that all writers need to keep a journal by their bed, because they’d wake up in the middle of the night with inspiration and need to jot it down before they forgot. How many of you writer types out there relate to this feeling? … I definitely do. I’m also the type of person who doesn’t like to turn on my light and wake my spouse, so if I wake up with the idea, I used to repeat it over and over in my head to try and memorize it. Sometimes, it worked. Sometimes, it didn’t.
Cliche or not, I really needed a “notepad” to jot things down, and eventually, I succumbed.
Up until recently, I didn’t go with a physical notebook at all (though goodness knows I have plenty). I kept notes in my Reminders app… because somehow that seemed like a good place? I’m not sure why I didn’t use the Notes app, but I have a pink Reminders list to those day with vague suggestions of story ideas. One is just a cool name I wanted to build a character from… and I figured I’d figure out the story later.
Recently, though, I invested in a deliciously yellow Moleskine notebook to jot my ideas in.
There’s something wonderful about handwriting things, and while it’s not really a feasible novel-writing concept for me, it is the best way I brainstorm because it forces me slow down to the speed of my handwriting. It’s one of the only things in my life that is bright yellow and there’s something about the hopeful cheerful demeanor of that sunshine color that brings me joy. Also the stickers are a delight – many I’ve collected over the years, but most of them came from Ink & Wonder Crate.
I’ll admit that my first go-to for story ideas, especially when I’m on the run, is still that silly little Reminders app list. But when I have a moment, I’ve been giving each one of those ideas some room to breathe.
Each story idea gets one full page in this little notebook to be fleshed out and expanded upon. If I can’t fill a full page, it stays in my Reminders list until I have a more round concept, or until I decide to permanently abandon it and hit the “delete” button.
I know, I know! As a writer, I should never delete my work! But I’m a prolific Ideas Person. I have about 50 different story concepts, and honestly, losing a few is a relief.
I figure, this little notebook will help me keep organized and give me better insight into the original idea, rather than a vague note like “Bohemian New York” or “Girl in wheelchair builds robot”. That way when NaNoWriMo or something else equally exciting rolls around, I have all my ideas in one spot with enough information that I can start outlining.
Do you have a special place where you keep all your ideas? Whether it’s for blog posts, paintings, novels, or poetry… what doesn’t your depository of treasured inspiration look like? Tell me all about it in the comments!