Why Keeping an Idea Journal of Some Sort Makes Sense

During a recent purging of my studio-office, I stumbled upon binders and a journal in which I’d been keeping ideas for writing projects, big and small. I thought I’d share a few of them with you

         guy selling Nintendo Play Stations from his van (this idea scrawled on a Post-it note)

         people who nailed or tied their shoes to a tree in a vacant lot off Winchester Drive, Waterloo 

~ newspaper clipping from Aug, 5 2010 Waterloo Region Record

         a sheep farmer that makes visitors dip their shoes into bleach before entering her farm (observation)

       Working title ~ ‘7 Hours’: premise ~ a school girl dies in a horrific collision when a delivery van slams into the Teens and Tots vehicle that just picked her up from school ~ each chapter focuses on POV of each of her noteworthy classmates / parents / teachers

         Keady Market near Owen Sound: a kitten’s thoughts before being sold at auction to the highest bidder, a child in a wheelchair 

         same market: lady with tea-cup dog in her bra

         two year prison term for knifing spouse (about a woman in KW who tortured her spouse and held her half-sister hostage) August 26, 2009

         prompt: write a list ~ places I don’t go anymore

         prompt: write a story titled ~ ‘Do you have to do that?’

         write about the thing in a drawer with the most colour

         write about my father’s hands; turn him into a fictional character with a new name

         describe a best friend at age 11

         -hazards of hoarding can be deadly (November 28, 2009) Waterloo Region Record (first line of article: ‘For years, no one on Crest Drive paid much attention to the little white house with pink trim.’ How can you not be intrigued by this topic???)

 I won’t be throwing these out. While I am not sure that any of these ideas resonate with me now (well, maybe the hoarding idea), the ideas/articles resonated then, and rereading them helps me to understand where I was as a writer and person, and where I am now.

 I encourage all writers, people starting out and those with a writing habit, to make jot-notes, to collect ideas, to keep an e-file, whatever works for them. Ideas, rich ideas, are what make writing believable, interesting, and authentic.

Not convinced? Read 10 Reasons to Keep a Journal

Did you know that I write a monthly newsletter about creativity (visual art/writing)? If you haven’t already done so, sign up here: monthly newsletter

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