Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes with These 7 Tips


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

As writers, we know that inspiration is a fickle thing. And while we all need to keep writing whether we’re inspired or not, that rush of creativity is nice. What's not nice is not being ready.

There's nothing as disheartening as those times happens when inspiration strikes and we’re not ready to capitalize on it. So today I’m going to help you be ready. 

7 things to do now to be ready when writing inspiration strikes.

1. Always keep a notebook nearby. It doesn’t matter if it’s a digital app or a physical book filled with actual paper. All too often I’ve thought I’d remember an idea or a new twist without writing it down. I rarely do. Beyond that, I spend a lot of time and angst trying to remember the brilliant idea.

2. When driving, make sure you have a voice recorder within arm’s reach. My darling husband decreed note-taking off limits to me while driving—even if I was stopped at a red light. Because of that, I used to keep a digital recorder with me. Now that I have my smart phone, I use that to capture fleeting thoughts.

3. Snag headlines and news stories that intrigue you. You can take a screenshot of digital articles, or use a program like Evernote. For newspaper headlines, use old-fashioned scissors and a manila file folder to keep track.

4. When you snap or snip an interesting article, be sure 
to include notes to remind yourself why that particular piece caught your attention. There is nothing more frustrating than coming across something you thought was important with no idea why you thought it was important.

5. Set up a system to keep track of those illusive ideas. These can be digital documents on your computer or a filing system in a nearby drawer, just make sure you can retrieve those ideas after you record them. For me, I use a series of files on my computer. I have one for quotes, one for blog post ideas, another for clever names, one for possible articles, etc.

6. Add a visual prompt to your idea. I admit it, I’m a born lurker. I’ve been known to snap surreptitious pictures of interesting people when I’m out and about. I also take shots of places and things that I’d like to later describe—either in an article or a work of fiction.

 7. Become a professional eavesdropper. Along the lines of always having a notebook handy, take note of the conversations going on around you. But don’t stop with just the words that are spoken, write down the body language, tone, setting, everything that makes up an intriguing scene.

Each of these things on the list came directly from a lost idea because I wasn’t ready to capture it and hold on. I’d love to know what you’d add to the list.

Don’t forget to join the conversation,
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES

11 comments:

  1. Pretty comprehensive list Ms. Edie. I would be lost without my "Idealog", but I keep Post-It notes in all my vehicles. Now if I can only remember to transfer them to my "Idealog" this time. Great post! God's blessings ma'am.

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    1. Jim, I'd be lost without my idealog too! Blessings, E

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  2. Very helpful Edie! I used to do this but recently have been so busy. I will keep that notebook with me. Thanks.

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    1. Debbie, it's a habit and one we can let slip if we're not careful! Blessings, E

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  3. Great ideas, thank you; I'm wondering about your spelling of elusive though. Is that an American thang.

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    1. Bev, nope, just a typo. For a writer, I'm a truly HORRIBLE speller! Blessings, E

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  4. Edie, Nice ideas! You should see the inside of my gigantic purse, which goes everywhere I go in the car. In addition to snacks, it contains a variety of pens, small notebooks, and the like. And of course, my cell phone. And I have a manila folder in a file cabinet, where I keep clippings of quotes, stories, and magazine and newspaper articles, which make great fodder for articles.

    Roberta Sarver

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    1. Roberta I've tried to keep a smaller purse, but I just have too many necessary things (notebooks, pens, etc) to make it work. LOL! Blessings, E

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  5. I hear you, Edie. I always think 'I'll remember that', only to sadly find I don't. The recorder sounds like a great idea.

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    1. Donevy, oh the ideas of lost to a faulty memory! Blessings, E

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  6. Great advice Edie! Though I confess, I’m a bit low on journals these days. In sheer desperation, I have a receipt from doctors care that is absolutely covered in notes or ideas. I’m slowly trying to get a system of transferring that information to one spot so that I don’t forget... I think a lot of us have a breakdown even if we do write it down. Out of sight, out of mind.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

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