I cannot tell you how many unfortunate moments I’ve experienced where I have had a wonderful idea and have just plumb forgot about it since I did not write it down.
Well forget no more!
The summer of my sophomore year of high school, I had the privileged of sailing around the North Channel in Ontario with a small band of writers. We sailed from beautiful anchorage to even-more-beautiful anchorage, writing, reading, discussing books, hashing out life, and really just learning from one another. That trip was foundational for me as a writer as well as a well-balanced, functioning member of society.
Among these wonderful writers was Tracy who was researching for a novel on Jonah. I observed her furiously writing notes in a little notepad and began to find that an ingenious solution to my forgetfulness. She would write down answers to questions she had about sailing, and take notes of inspiring sights around her. It was so simple, so brilliant–I knew I just had to jump on board the writing-important-stuff-down train.
Sine then, I have kept notepad, after notepad and have graduated up to a Molskine journal. I jot down plot twists, character traits, quotes, general observations, and pretty much anything that could be useful to my writing. I use a different color ink for each idea– just because I generally appreciate frivolity– and put to paper whatever comes to mind. I have been so thankful to this part of my process as I have had ideas months before I have come to the point when I need to write them into my novel or a blog post. My writing is richer because of this notebook, I have no doubt.
What has been a tool to you in your writing world? I’d love to hear from you either here or on Facebook or Twitter!