Use It or Lose It

I recently read an Isaac Asimov article on how people get new ideas. While it was interesting, coming up with ideas isn’t something I feel that I’ve struggled with in my writing. Most writers I’ve spoken with don’t seem to be plagued with a lack of ideas. Usually, it’s quite the opposite.

That’s not to say that airing out topics and ideas isn’t productive. Meeting with other writers, or even just other creative types can be invaluable when forming a new story. And while the article by Asimov related mostly to scientists and inventors, it could definitely apply to story tellers.

But as I said, most writers I have spoken with feel that they have an abundance of ideas. They find inspiration from anything and everything at totally random intervals.

The best thing to do when inspiration strikes?

Write it down.

I have many times fallen into the trap of thinking that an idea was so great that I would undoubtedly remember it at the end of the day when I would have a chance to sit down at the computer and document it.

And then life happens.

So, now I try to keep a notebook by my bed when I wake up. And a notebook in the living room. And the office. And I use the notpad app on my phone. And I have a small notebook at work.

Excessive? Maybe.

But while the pessimists say that every story has already been told, each person’s viewpoint is unique. That idea you have is your idea and nobody else will have it quite like you. Or quite like me.

Don’t let that idea go. Write it down. Own it.


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