Great Ideas: It’s easy to lose them, so don’t.

Grahame Green, the famous English novelist, was in many ways an inspiration for many writers. Dare I say, bloggers, too. For me, he was an inspiration: he was reputed to keep a journal near his bedside so he could write down many of his ideas, some of which would work their way into his novels. I don’t know if this is true or not, a couple of cursory searches indicated that it was not.

Whether or not it is true, it highlights a problem I’ve been having recently: keeping a track of those flashes of insight, ideas for posts, quotes, and other memes that come to me, as the muse does. Whenever I have one of those flashes of optimism, I really try hard to remember it so I can use it in a post later in that day.

The sad thing is: I then sit down to blog about those very topics, only to find that the ideas are evanescent as the warm winds of September in Taiwan. What am I to do?

So I have adopted several means to help record them: I’ll use email to send notes to myself, it’s easy to open, and create, and save. If a computer is not available, then I’ll keep some notes in my little notebook, small enough to fit inside my own wallet. If not, I’ll find scraps of paper to write down whatever I need to remember. Then I’ll collate the notes into titles or first sentences, and save them in my blog.

The result can be quite effective, but if not done properly, it will fill up notebooks/wordpress with numerous headers. These are easily recovered but making sense of them later is often a challenge, especially when the original mood is gone.

For example, I wrote a long half post about frustrations dealing with our photocopy company, then I saved it. A month later, the original mood is gone, facts are half-remembered, and I wonder if I will ever write it. At least I have the basics that I could write or re-write as needed. If I didn’t have these, I wouldn’t have the choice to develop the post or not.

So, if you are stuck for ideas: remember – your best ideas will often come to you at very odd times. Find a way to take some notes so that you will have a list of topics that you can write about when things are a little dry.

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