I is for Ideas

07 Jul

“A writer is someone who begins by trying to catch insights as fireflies in a jar, but in the end needs to see them pinned to the page.” –Jane Yolen

I struggle trying to de-clutter my life of the things that really are not important, mainly because after so many years it’s easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. Let’s face it; closets, basements, and attics can only hold so much.

As a writer, you have permission to collect and keep all the ideas you can come up with forever.  By organizing and saving your ideas, you have them when you need them.

Ideas like fireflies will escape unless you save them. I usually keep a notepad in my purse. Like my keys I like it in one spot so I can find it. Most of the ideas never go anywhere but the ones that do are handy.

I try to organize my ideas in one folder in a file cabinet because no matter how many notepads I have, you can bet I will lose some of them.

Before I have to worry about saving my ideas, I have to be able to come up with them. I get inspiration from everything around me. Movies, books, newspapers, magazines, people on the street, at work, at the mall, on my commute, on the phone, like a sponge I soak up everything I see, hear, taste, smell, touch. I never know what will inspire me. Maybe it’s the scent of wildflowers on a morning walk, or geese flying in a v pattern, coyotes yipping in the moonlight, the lonely sound of a train in the distance, white crosses along the highway, the taste of summer tomatoes, and the feel of sand between my toes on the beach.

We could never use all of our ideas but if you have enough, you can sift through to find the gold.

This week I read ‘Sarah’s Key‘ by Tatiana De Rosnay.  It was a very good story. It pulled me in and wouldn’t let go until I finished it. It is about an American living in Paris and married to a French man who discovers a secret about his family. Won’t say anymore for now because I want to review later this week here.

Now I am reading ‘Stalking the Story’ How to Find Your Screenplay’s Story with Help from TV’s Greatest Detectives by Jay Douglas.  Just picked it up so will review it later too. Though it is for screenplay writers I figured, I could probably pick up a few tricks for novel writing too.

May you have a productive week writing and an enjoyable week reading.


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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Novel Writing


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