How many times has an amazing story idea struck you while going about your day only to slip away before you can make it to the computer?
You’re waiting in line at the grocery store and bam, a key piece of the story you’re working on falls into place. You finish checking out and get into the car only to discover that the idea has completely faded from your mind.
Does this sound familiar? If you’re like me, inspiration can strike you anywhere. In the car, during your daily workout, in the middle of an unrelated conversation.
This inspired thought is then nowhere in sight by the time you reach your destination or finish that cardio routine. Cue disappointed grumbling.
How do we stop this from happening? Like the writing process, the ideal method for getting those ideas to stick will vary from person to person. But, with a little experimentation, you can find what works for you.
Here are 5 options to get you started.
1. Keep a Notepad or Journal Handy
When a new idea appears, pause what you are doing (if it’s safe to do so) to jot it down in a designated notebook. Review any thoughts you record in this manner at the end of the day or week.
2. Whip Out Your Phone
If the concept of lugging around a notebook and pen everywhere fills you with horror remember that you have a word processor in your pocket. Start an “Ideas” note in your phone’s notebook and dump any ideas that come your way there. Or, you can skip the note and send yourself a text or email.
3. Sync Up
Evernote is a great solution for compiling ideas. Download the app for your phone, laptop, and desktop and you’re in good shape whether at home or on the go.
I use an “Ideas” notebook and then create a new note whenever I have a eureka moment. I can then go back and review later or reference the notebook when I need ideas for an article. If I’m using it for a blog post I’ll go ahead and write the rough draft right inside the note.
4. Become a Team Player
Applications such as Slack and Discord can be a great place to store and develop story ideas. Find a writing or accountability partner and create your own server or channel. Throw any ideas that pop up throughout the day in there and mark them for discussion or to come back to later.
5. Get Yourself on Task
In the past, I have kept an ideas list on Wunderlist and added any promising concepts that I encounter.
This is especially useful for compiling potential topics for blog posts. If you decide to use one of these topics you’re already set up to assign due dates and create sub-tasks. That’s a win all around.
By using one or more of these methods you can ensure that your next big story idea doesn’t get away from you.
Recording these thoughts also creates a bank of ideas that you can draw from whenever you find yourself uncertain about what to write next. Because, as we all know, inspiration is a tricky mistress.