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Just write it down, that’s all I’m sayin’…


Last week, when I mentioned ‘How-to Write’ books and how they all contain a specific bit of storytelling advice, it reminded me of something else they all tell us to do. Which is: to capture every thought, no matter how small in a notebook of some kind. To fill ’em up.

I’m bad at writing in notebooks. But I’m not bad at writing in WordPress, apparently. I noticed today that I have 113 (that’s one hundred and thirteen) drafts saved in the backend of this blog (and, yes, I do backup). By golly, that feels like quite a few. Quite a few nuggets waiting to become full posts or books or articles or digital hogwash in my trash bin.

Makes me feel a bit rich, to be honest. Like I have a full tank of gas in reserve, should this main nozzle run dry.

Are you saving your thoughts? Storing them away in case a long hard winter should happen to befall you? How? Where?

…or, for those of you cringing, shaking your head or possibly cursing, why not?

Image credit: Gwen’s River City Images

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Life coach, Thomas J Leonard is famous for coaching around the life-enhancing benefits of building “super reserves” (among other things) & this is an excellent example! Some of my personal favs are keeping a spare key to my car in a magnetized box under the front wheel well (saved my butt innumerable times); having a ton of toilet paper in the basement & just knowing that more than half my plans won’t work out…!

  • Jennifer says:

    I do a few different things to capture my ideas.

    1) Google Spreadsheet for my editorial calendar. I have dates down the left column. Over on the right, I keep a running list of post ideas… just brief phrases. I drag ideas into date spots as I plan the month.

    2) For business development ideas, I use Google Tasks. I add in a link too if needed for reference.

    3) If several ideas start to gel into something I can plan, like writing an ebook, I use a Google Doc to write it up. I include both a content outline and technical/marketing plans.

    4) New ideas while away from home get emailed to my Gmail, which I can easily convert to a task later.

    I’ve considered other options, include EverNote… but I find a Google/Gmail-based system works well. I also tried a Moleskine, but I was always losing it. I also am too perfectionist and often tear out pages where I don’t like my handwriting, so I end up not writing in it for fear of having bad handwriting.

  • Andi says:

    I have a spiral notebook that I carry around all the time, and when I don’t have that, I have a moleskin, but when I am in front of computer, I do drafts in WP too, I have a ton also. What I discovered recently is that I can’t write out drafts (unless I absolutely must) on pen and paper anymore that I must type out my stream so consciousness – this must have been a gradual change because I used to write out book chapters and blog posts on paper all the time, this new “thing” took me by surprise, so if I am away from my computer and don’t feel like typing a note in my iphone, I go for paper, but not to expand, only to collect.

  • If something comes to me and I’m not near my computer, or more recently my iPhone, I try to jot it down on paper, I usually have a notebook somewhere in my shoulder bag I have in my car with all my work stuff in it.

    I do most of my blogging on the fly, so I generally don’t keep a storage of topics, because I’ve found that as stuff sits in my drafts folder I tend to ignore it in favor of a fresher idea.

  • Edgy Mama says:

    I keep “idea” docs in Word. I have column ideas, beer ideas, fiction ideas, blog ideas, non-fiction ideas, business ideas, and things I need to remember to tell my kids. Rich, indeed! Love reading about how others store their intellectual wealth.

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