When great ideas are lost

Posted: 8 March, 2012 in writing

I had a great idea yesterday. A brilliant idea. Probably the best idea for a story I’ve ever had. Don’t ask me what it was because I can’t remember.  But I know it was amazing!

I have lost so many great ideas because I didn’t write them down, even though I keep a notebook with me all the time.  I’m a bit of a stationery hoarder so I’m never without a pen or paper but I do sometimes fall into the error of telling myself, “That’s a great idea! I don’t need to write it down. I won’t ever forget that!”  A day later, or even an hour later, I’m kicking myself because I have no clue what that “great idea” was.

In looking back through my notebooks to find some ideas for today’s writing I realised there is so much I’ve noted down that I’ve never acted on.  Some of them I look at and cringe (what on earth was I thinking??) while others are pretty good ideas that I could definitely use somewhere. In one notebook I’ve even made a list of ideal gift ideas for people that would’ve been really handy a couple of months ago.

Looking through all these notebooks, some dated (earliest so far is 1997) and some undated, has made me nostalgic for all the time I’ve wasted in not following through with these. On the other hand, being reminded of just how many possibilities I can explore has really got me excited about where my writing will go this year.  Maybe I’ll start work on something completely new.  Maybe I have something that I could enter in a competition.

I still have a few notebooks to go through and maybe yesterday’s great idea will come back to me while I browse.  Based on past experience it probably won’t, but at least I have learnt another valuable lesson – from now on I will write down my ideas as they come to me.  Even if I do look at it later and wonder what I was thinking, it’s still a good habit for me to get into.

  1. Virginia says:

    The thing about writing things down (which i must do if there’s to be any hope of remembering) is also to WRITE LEGIBLY! Sometimes i go back through the scribbles of what may have been an absolutely brilliant idea (at the time) & can’t figure it out!

    what a brilliantly fun blog!

    • RickyB says:

      LOL! I’m guilty of scribbling too and looking back later trying to decipher my “great ideas”. I have gotten a little better the last year or so but I so wish I’d kept up with my shorthand. I’d be an expert by now and it would be great to be able to take fast notes. Actually, knowing me, my shorthand notes wouldn’t be any better.

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