Tag Archives: capturing ideas

Use it or lose it

Have you ever wakened in the morning with a story idea in your head? Did you capture it right away or did you decide to wait and write it down when you’re more awake, sure you will remember it? How many times have you lost a great idea with not a clue as to what it was?

How many of your dreams have you known would make great stories, but as soon as you are fully out of that sleep the whole scenario has faded away never to return?

Muse departed.  Opportunity lost.

Paper and pen are by my bed for just that reason. There are times I have wakened very early, a poem or the beginning of a story in my head. I know I would not remember later what was in my mind. Just this morning as I was waking from a dream, I was thinking that it would make a nice story. When I closed my eyes again for just a few moments the vision started to fade, so I hastily jotted down what I could recall, some already lost. The ‘feelings’ around such things that come in that way quickly dissipate so that the opportunity has to be grabbed right then.

Now, how many tales have you made up and told to a child – maybe as a bedtime story, or at a time the child needs to be distracted or comforted? Or have you simply thought it all out in your mind for the fun of it? Did you write it down or did you not see its value? Or maybe you were driving, or in a place where you can’t write anything? A friend told me that she recently was in a public washroom when a story idea hit and … well … her idea escaped. That’s the thing about a creative’s mind … always busy, always dreaming, always thinking.

My dear mother was very creative. She used to tell me that many years before, when she lived with some cousins, she would help get the youngest one to bed each night. Her cousin loved for Mum to put her to bed because then she’d get a bedtime story, Mum making it up as she went along. Each night would be a continuation of the night before, and usually with humour in the story. Mum often told me that she wished she’d been able to write them down because they were such cute stories, but years later she couldn’t remember them.

For over thirty years Mum was a schoolteacher, and after her passing my sister came across a story Mum had written for a summer course she had taken many years before. I remember that she was so pleased about getting a good mark on that project. This story we have that she created is now in my care, Dad would love to see it published.

Recently joining a picture book critique group, I submitted her story for their viewing and frank opinions. The responses have been very positive, and I’m sure I have felt Mum’s pleasure with their comments and suggestions.

May I suggest to you …

When you come up with an idea, write it down. When your Muse visits, pay attention and take notes. Such ideas fade quickly, story details lose themselves in our busyness, whole stories are lost – maybe whole worlds.

So … what do you do about ideas that come when least expected? Are you always prepared to capture them or do you take a chance that you will remember?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Day 5: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Wow!  It’s the end of day 5 already in these challenges.  Today I only got around 13oo words written for NaNoWriMo, less than the 1667 I was supposed to write, but I was ahead so didn’t really lose anything.  As it adds up, I’m 300 words into the next day.  The weekends are going to be much harder to find writing time, I think, and I’m not sure how to keep this story going so that it makes sense, but aside from that .. it’s all good!  🙂

When only two days into the NaNoWriMo challenge, I started to talk to my husband about something that evening, then stopped, thought a moment, and said, “Oh, never mind, that isn’t here, that’s in my story!”  🙂

Even though I am already thinking in terms of my story much of the time, I also am aware of the little things going on around me.  There are picture book ideas everywhere.  Today I captured three for PiBoIdMo.  Of course, some of those will never go anywhere, but this is all part of the brainstorming that has to happen in writing.  It’s fun.

This evening I took a pause from writing to do some reading.  I am still working my way through the Bible, but I also read another little book today and added it to My “have read” book list page.

It has been a very windy and rainy day here in Nova Scotia, but we are having warm days and warm nights after a cold spell.  Our beautiful leaves have finally reached the end of their colourful display, I’m afraid.  The wind has been plucking most off their trees and is now blowing them helter- skelter.  It makes the trees bare of colour but adds variety to lawns and fields.

Don’t forget to check my new page: NaNoWriMo Updates (2010).

What do you like about Autumn/Fall?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Manuscripts and capturing ideas

Today I am still stunned by something l learned last night in writers chat.  Our guest author revealed to us that he has over 700 – yes, read that as OVER SEVEN HUNDRED, completed manuscripts waiting for a home!  Each of those has been submitted at least once.  He also already has 500 published short stories and poems!  And he is only in his 40’s!

I sat here marvelling, first at his achievement of 500 in publication, but when he said he has over 700 yet to be published — well, I don’t know if I have recovered yet from that announcement!  I hardly can grasp the image of that.  Imagine it! …  Can you?

From that I realized I am not capturing my thoughts and ideas nearly the way I should be doing.  Some writers carry a notebook and pen everywhere they go, others take a little tape recorder to talk into when something triggers their imaginations, some keep paper and pen by the bed at night (I do this) in case they get story ideas as they are falling asleep or are wakened by them, or maybe even dream them.

The point is … write, write, WRITE!  Don’t lose ideas  by not capturing them, thinking you will remember and then losing them!  Ever have that happen?  Never trust your memory, especially since – as a writer – you have so much creative thought happening.  For sure some of it will get lost.

Do you have a stockpile of manuscripts?  Or maybe you have tips to offer regarding capturing ideas ?  I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂