It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are, the chances are in 24 hours you won’t remember what that wonderful idea was that you thought you’d write about. Make sure you write it down.
I left home early this morning, tired from late night Olympic viewing and having to get up early on a Saturday morning. The morning was clear and there was little traffic on the road at that early hour. I’d allowed myself two and a half hours to drive a trip that normally takes one hour fifty minutes. This meant there’d be plenty of time for a coffee stop along the way.
With the roads still empty of heavy traffic, my mind started thinking of writing. As I drove one, then another, then another idea for a short online article popped into my head. I played with ideas as I drove, talking out loud to myself of how the opening paragraphs might look.
The intention was that when I reached my destination I would jot down these obviously brilliant ideas. But I didn’t. On arriving I checked my cell phone, answered a couple of text messages, then grabbed my writing portfolio and headed off to my writing course. Writing down my ideas had completely slipped my mind.
Only now, ten hours later, have I had a chance to wonder what it was I was going to write. All three ideas seemed really fresh and exciting this morning. But, what were they? I’ve wracked my brain and managed to recall two of the three titles I’d decided upon for the articles, but how they were going to start has completely vanished from my mind.
I know as well as any writer the importance of jotting ideas down in a notebook when you think of them. But in this case, I was driving and needed to arrive at my destination on time. Three articles that could have been written have not had a chance to make it into existence.
Let this be a warning to all writers. Make sure you write ideas down as they occur to you. Don’t trust your luck as I did, presuming they are such good ideas you’ll still remember them later. Even a few jotted words can be enough to recall your ideas and restore them to your memory.
I knew I had tme to write one, maybe two new articles before I moved on to other things tonight. Now, I am left feeling robbed of ideas and have onl;y this offering to make. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. Memories are not trustworthy. If an idea charges uninvited into your head, capture it by writing it down. Whether you choose to use it at a later date or not is your option. But at least you’ll have a starting point, an idea to work with if you choose to do so.
Meanwhile I’ll console myself by returning to watch theOlympics, hoping that another idea will make it’s presence known to me before too long.
Other writing tips from Val MIlls: