Making the Choice to Write: Collecting Thoughts

Sometimes when I get excited about my story, I can’t stop thinking about it. Even if I leave my laptop, intending to go do some chore, my mind keeps working and the ideas keep coming unbidden. I don’t know where they’re coming from or what to do with them, and I don’t dare try to stop them.

Wait, I do know what to do! Write them down!

So many professional writers carry notebooks with them to capture the ideas that flit through their minds and then disappear. Every serious writer needs something like this—a place to collect and store the gifts that their creative mind stirs up on its own.

Writing is tricky business. Sometimes you just can’t seem to summon your mind to supply you with new ideas, and that’s when you go back to your captured thoughts. This is how I write blog posts, actually. When I’m excited about something, I do a lot of scribbling, writing notes and then pretending to think of something else so that the mind will work on its own.

This is one thing that makes the practice of writing so . . . unusual. How much of your work do you think is really generated by your conscious self? Is your conscious just a medium through which ideas from your subconscious pass? It’s something to wonder about. Actually, I think a neuroscientist would say yes, but that’s another story.

Takeaway point: Ideas come and go. Catch them while you can! There will be days when you don’t seem to have any, and looking through your notebook can remind you that you have ideas in abundance—more than enough for a good story.

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2 thoughts on “Making the Choice to Write: Collecting Thoughts

  1. D.I. Ozier

    Excellent points. One thing that writers can do is keep a notepad and pen on their bedside table so that they can be ready to jot down any ideas that occur to them as they’re falling asleep at night or as they’re waking up in the morning.

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