Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG: Pencil or Gray Matter?


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers.  It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month.  I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time.  Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

The awesome co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG will be Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris! 

Pencil or Gray Matter?  

Ever get a fantastic idea for a w-i-p or new project only to forget it a few minutes later?  Ever waste precious time trying to recall an idea you just knew you'd never forget?  Frustrating, right?  Right.  Been there, done that.

Nothing frustrates me more than getting excited over a good idea for a current or future writing project only to forget it before I can write it down.  And, it seems, no amount of racking my brain will bring the idea back - Poof!  Like smoke, it disappears into thin air.  

Ideas often sneak up on me at inconvenient times - like while I'm driving or waiting my turn in the check-out line. Or an idea will ping my radar when I'm in a restaurant observing others (Ever written an idea on a napkin? Ever lost the napkin later?) or when I wake in the middle of the night.  Something or someone triggers an idea that has good potential, and I think I'll write it down as soon as I get home or as soon as I complete this task or as soon as I find my pencil & paper. And aren't those famous last words?!  After one too many times of pulling my hair out and kicking myself over lost ideas, I finally took to heart the meaning of Jack London's words, "Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory."  Well, duh.  You mean I should stop what I'm doing and write it down right then & there  - before the idea has a chance to escape?  How simple is that?

Lesson learned.  I'm living proof you can teach an old dog new tricks!  I now keep a small notebook & several pencils/pens with me everywhere I go . . . in my car, in my purse, on my nightstand in my bedroom, and in most other rooms in my house (yes, even the bathroom!).  It's an inexpensive, yet sure way to preserve those precious ideas for future use.  As Jack London said, "Keep a notebook - Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it.  And slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain.  Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory."  And that's the truth!

How do you keep track of your ideas?  Do you depend on pencil or gray matter?
  





6 comments:

  1. I keep notebooks too! One time recently I WAS caught short but I managed to find a pen so I just wrote the idea on my hand. It actually helped me flesh it out during the day because I kept glancing at it when I was looking at my watch.

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    1. Great idea, Mia! I'll admit to having done the same a time or two. Thanks for checking in with me today. :)

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  2. Since my phone is always on me, I type ideas down in a note. Sometimes I don't carry anything but my phone, not even a wallet. It's always around. Sometimes I take photos of what inspired me, and the phone is useful for that.

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    1. I need to utilize my phone more than I do. I guess it's the "old school" part of me that goes for pencil & paper! I must admit - the photos are a great idea. Thanks for stopping by, Tanya.

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  3. Thank heavens for Post-It notes!!

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    1. TRUE! I have them stuck everywhere! lol

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