Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Journal By Any Other Name....

Does this count as a hot take? --> There are no bad ideas, just bad execution. 

To whatever degree I’m an optimist about writing and the creative process, that optimism is rooted in my belief that I can make any story work if I just spend enough time plugging away at it. That’s not to say that I never give up on ideas. But my gut tells me that the process is more about choosing which ideas I want to stick with than it is about which ideas are “good” or “bad.” (And to be clear, I’m operating here under a definition of “story idea” as something that age-appropriately conveys some truth about the human condition. Appropriateness is always a factor!)

Like a lot of writers, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. I don’t keep a journal, per se, but I do have what I call my idea drawer, which is essentially the same thing.  

My radar is always on. As I move through the world, I’m always capturing people, snatches of dialogue, settings, situations, and other prospective story ideas. If something feels worth holding onto, I’ll scribble it down on one of my zillion small yellow legal pads and then throw it in that little drawer in my office, along with the hundreds of others I've put there over the years.  



So now, if I’m ever looking for a story idea, or for something fresh to put into a scene, or whatnot, I have this whole supply of them—all organic and locally grown—just sitting there waiting for me. 

Chances are, some very high percentage of those scribblings won't ever make their way into a story. Another bit of optimism I carry is that there will always be more ideas than there is time to write them. But just like a halfway decent insurance policy, I'm always glad to know that drawer (slash journal) is there if I need it!

SIDEBAR: In my school visits, I always encourage kids to do something similar--which is also to say, more broadly, that I encourage them to let go of any preconceived notions about what a journal might look like, and to do whatever works best for them, to arm themselves with ideas for when the story-writing time might come. This can be good advice for kids who like to write (yay, more ideas!) as well as those who don't, since coming up with an idea for a story is so often a sticking point.

Happy writing!

6 comments:

  1. Ooh! Love the little drawer stuffed full of idea treasures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) (did you ever read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle? She had a house full of secret drawers with secret treasures.... I'd like to say that inspired this drawer idea for me, but it's more like I'm just a general fan of stuff like this... :-)

      Delete
  2. !!!I do the idea drawer / files, too. I've got two filing cabinets at this point...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! More stories than we'll EVER get around to writing....!

      Delete
  3. INSTEAD OF GETTING A LOAN,, I GOT SOMETHING NEW
    Get $5,500 USD every day, for six months!

    See how it works
    Do you know you can hack into any ATM machine with a hacked ATM card??
    Make up you mind before applying, straight deal...

    Order for a blank ATM card now and get millions within a week!: contact us
    via email address::{Universalcardshackers@gmail.com}

    We have specially programmed ATM cards that can be use to hack ATM
    machines, the ATM cards can be used to withdraw at the ATM or swipe, at
    stores and POS. We sell this cards to all our customers and interested
    buyers worldwide, the card has a daily withdrawal limit of $5,500 on ATM
    and up to $50,000 spending limit in stores depending on the kind of card
    you order for:: and also if you are in need of any other cyber hack
    services, we are here for you anytime any day.

    Here is our price lists for the ATM CARDS:

    Cards that withdraw $5,500 per day costs $200 USD
    Cards that withdraw $10,000 per day costs $850 USD
    Cards that withdraw $35,000 per day costs $2,200 USD
    Cards that withdraw $50,000 per day costs $5,500 USD
    Cards that withdraw $100,000 per day costs $8,500 USD

    make up your mind before applying, straight deal!!!

    The price include shipping fees and charges, order now: contact us via
    email address:: {Universalcardshackers@gmail.com}

    ReplyDelete
  4. Idea stash, yes! I have notebooks, folders, computer files, and way too many scraps of paper. Must get organized like you :)

    ReplyDelete