Remember that time you overhead a really fascinating snippet of a conversation the next booth over in a restaurant and wanted to remember it when you got home, but couldn’t? Or when that interesting article on the migration pattern of wolves sparked tons of ideas in your mind, but you forgot to bookmark it and Google isn’t finding it again?
These specific examples might not have happened to you, but I’m willing to bet that something similar has. Something you read or overheard or saw sparked your creative fires, filling you with story ideas, and then you went and forgot all the ideas, or had trouble connecting them together once the source of that inspiration had vanished from your memory. How can you stop that from happening again?
I’ve met writers who carry notepads with them everywhere to jot down conversational snippets or ideas that hit them while they are out and about. This is still a good strategy; however, in the world of modern tech there are many more options. You could easily take digital photos of places or people that spark ideas for you, use a voice recorder app on your phone to mutter a few quick thoughts or repeat a conversational phrase that you want to remember, or even send an email to yourself. When you find articles on the internet you can bookmark them in your browser, or copy them into a document. Google users can save things to Google Docs, so that their inspiration will be out there on the Cloud, to go wherever they go.
The point is, it’s easier than ever before to save your inspiration when it strikes. So don’t feel bashful about pulling out your smart phone to snap a photo, record a message to yourself, or type in some notes. You never know when a piece of inspiration will spark the story that will finally get you published. It’s totally worth looking like a geek while furiously typing notes to yourself on a tiny touchscreen.
What are your favorite apps or online tools for keeping track of your sparks of inspiration? Share them in the comments below.
By Jocelyn Carlin