Monday, April 19, 2010

The Blink of an Eye

Life happens around us every day. Our writer minds take note of an unusual hairstyle, the smell of food as we pass a restaurant, and a gazillion other ordinary/not so ordinary happenings. If we don't seize them and store them, they're gone in the blink of an eye.

If I see/hear/smell/taste/touch something unusual or that piques my interest, I immediately try to associate it with a character in my WIP or a devotional idea. Many times I'll jot it down on a scrap of paper. (You should see my desk!) My journal is another favorite storage area for nifty facts.

How do you keep your ideas from disappearing in the blink of an eye?

33 comments:

Heather Sunseri said...

I have a voice recorder app on my iphone. Love it!!!!

Jessica Nelson said...

I definitely have to write them down or they're gone forever. Even when I think they're so wonderful they'll last, they don't. LOL
Good idea about sensory stuff! I've never written down my observations like that before.

Sandra Heska King said...

I keep a Moleskine reporter's notebook on my desk and one in my purse. I also write on scraps. When I take sermon notes, I scribble little clouds around my own ideas. I have a white box with a lid where I toss all my loose notes.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Heather -

Great idea for those with iphones.

Thanks for stopping by. I'm sure you're happy tax season is over. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

It's amazing how even the most vivid thoughts fade so fast.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

The moleskin notebooks are popular with some writers. I've never seen one.

I like your method for rounding up scraps of paper. I should try it. Maybe my desk would be neater. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Karen Lange said...

Good idea - a journal, that is. I keep a small notebook in my purse, by my bed, etc. to capture all those writing thoughts that hit me throughout the day.
Blessings,
Karen

Cindy said...

I'm a note taker, too. I write notes on everything and everywhere. I keep a notebook in my purse and near my bed in case I wake up with an idea at night. I also tend to bring a notebook with me when I go places I'm going to be at awhile.

Maria I. Morgan said...

I need to designate a specific notebook for these 'ideas.' Typically I just jot them down on random pieces of paper and put them in or on top of my 'writing file'! Thanks for missing me last week, Susan! My husband and I took our daughter to the national competition @ Bob Jones University last week. I thought I would blog from there, but got busy with other things. Anyway, I'm back and look forward to reading your blog and doing lots of writing and posting myself!! God bless!

kristen said...

That's so funny! I have pretty much the exact same method as Sandra, even down to the circle around my own ideas in my sermon notes. I also have a digital voice recorder that I keep intending to use, especially when inspiration hits in the car, but I haven't made it that far.

Thanks

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Thanks for jumping into the discussion. A lot of people seem to use notebooks to snag fleeting thoughts.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

Great to see you! Are you back from your hiatus? I'll pop over to your blog.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria -

I'm glad you're okay. It sounds like you and your family had some quality time together.

It seems like taking notes ranks high on everyone's list.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kristen -

My pastor includes an outline of the sermon in our bulletins. I write all over it, but it's for the church blog.

I thought about getting a voice recorder, but I have a small tape recorder that works just as well. Knowing how I am with gadgets, I try to stay as low tech as possible.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol J. Alexander said...

Susan,
I do NOT keep my ideas from disappearing in a blink at all. I am so bad at this. I will sometimes write things down on whatever is handy, then I lose the scrap of paper. Maybe I should try the little box idea. But what really tries me is when I do have a bunch of ideas, I feel compelled to list them out. Then I end up with lists with no home. I reallly need help with this one.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Carol -

I hope something you read in the post or in the comments helped. If not, give me a shout, and we can brainstorm.

Blessings,
Susan :)

sherrinda said...

I have a Moleskin notebook in my purse! I don't always use it like I should, and I alway regret it.

Terri Tiffany said...

Good picture of that eye:) I keep a notebook handy because I always forget ideas fast! Especially at night when I am just dozing off.

I like that idea too about a box with a lid for scraps of notes. Mine would be full so fast!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sherrinda -

The whole moleskin notebook thing fascinates me. What is so special about a moleskin notebook versus an ordinary notebook? :)

Losing ideas isn't fun.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I liked that eye too. My writer brain is already trying to build a person around that eye.

The box idea also appealed to me. You could probably find a pretty one at a flea market or yard sale.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

I write down on colored 3 x 5 cards, scraps of paper, a church bulletin, or a napkin. I keep them in a card file box on my desk, but the most profound ones I tack onto my bulletin board.

Like this one:

"Perceived expectations are a trap of the enemy." That had to be God; I'm not smart enough to think that.

Love you!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

A card file - that's a bit different than a box. You'd also be able to alphabetize your ideas, which would make retrieval easier.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Nancy said...

I do that constantly. I use little piecies of paper. What a mess. Usually I can find them when I need them.

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Sticky notes! I have them everywhere. :)
I've declared myself the queen of the sticky notes...but my mom has asked me to stop sticking them to her decorators items. ;)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

Congrats, it's working for you! Whatever your system, the goal is to find those ideas when you need them.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Emily Ann -

If the system works, great! For me, I've got to play the word association or write it down.

The suggestion made here about a box seems like a good way to corral all those bits of paper. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Jill Kemerer said...

Okay, now I want to see that desk! :)

I have an idea journal, but sometimes scraps of paper are all I have on hand!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jill -

I won't be posting pictures of my desk any time soon. It's too embarrassing. :)

Ideas seem to pop up at inopportune times. I also get a lot while I'm driving. Even if I have paper with me, I can't write them down.

Blessings,
Susan

Janna Qualman said...

Same here, Susan! I jot, most often. But my husband recently gave me a handheld voice recorder to use, too. Now if I could just figure out how the thing works...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

Bless your non-techy heart! I'm right there with you.

Susan :)

Becky Lange said...

I will jot down a thought now and then, but I am definitely not diligent about it. Part of the reason is that I end up with disorganized scraps of paper that have no dedicated dwelling place. I really need to work on that!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Becky -

I have the same problem, but think I'll use the box suggestion one comment made.

Blessings,
Susan :)