Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shaking the idea box

I have no idea what that title means. I'm just now getting over a very nasty stomach virus, so I can't be held responsible for the things I write or say today. I'm like the Verve Pipe, only less 1996.

My question for everyone today: what do you do to keep track of your (no doubt brilliant) ideas?

Based on the effort it's taken to get ONE book up and running, I'm pretty sure I've got ideas to last me from here until kingdom come, so I'm not really worried about running out of ideas. I do worry, however, about losing good ideas or losing good scene ideas because I'm somewhere that I can't take good notes. I'd love to say I'm organized and have a neat little folder somewhere with all my brilliant story ideas along with character descriptions, scene ideas, and funny/clever lines. However, I think we all know where I'm going with this.

Let's say Martha wouldn't be proud. I have notes EVERYWHERE (and I mean EVERYWHERE): scribbled in random notebooks, saved as unsent emails, a billion word files across three or four different computers (and floppy disks, people, floppy disks), a few random notes on my phone notepad file. And those are just the ones I can remember. Every once in a while I run across an old song notebook or a file aptly titled "Story" and open them up to see a long forgotten story idea. Some of them are good, most of them are not, but they're hidden gems from my own past (does that make them hidden JEMs?). It's fun to find them and discover what I thought was interesting enough to write about at any given point.

I'd like to go back and write each and every one of these stories one day. The odds of that happening are about the same as me not eating this cookie (you can't see it because it's just crumbs now), but I still have high hopes. And suffice it to say my old boxes of stuff from middle school and high school are veritable treasure troves of JEMs.

So how do you keep track of all the brilliant?

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