(photo by Paul Capewell on Flickr)
Here's a reminder to jot down all your brilliant and not-so-brilliant ideas into a notebook and then to keep your notebooks around long after you've filled them:
Relatives of the Irish author Bram Stoker recently discovered his first journal, kept while he was a university student. While the quality of the writing it contains shows nowhere near the professional skill of Dracula or Stoker's many short stories, it does reveal that in later life, he went back to the snippets he jotted down in early adulthood to include in his writing. Even if he couldn't use the material immediately, this journal laid a foundation for future success.
A lot of people walk up to me and say, "I have this really great idea, but I don't have the time to follow up on it right now." Or they say, "I had this thing happen to me, but I don't think I can write about it."
My answer: JUST JOT DOWN A FEW WORDS. Or draw a picture. Or paste in a magazine clipping or family photo that will jolt your memory at a later date. A journal, notebook, or planner works because these formats are less likely to get lost than the back of an envelope and keep everything together.
Maybe right now you don't have the skills or time to write your masterpiece. That's okay if you save the ideas for later in a concrete format. (For foodie types: it's like keeping a crock of sourdough starter around so you can eventually bake bread.)
For the complete article about Bram Stoker's journal, follow this link.