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Writing Ideas Folder

edited October 2005 in - Writing Tales


  • When I upgraded during the summer to XP,I stupidly forgot to ask the person who did the job, to transfer my electronic filofax for me. However, all was not lost and this might help others as well. I actually keep a proper ringbinder folder which I call a diary of ideas, each month divided off. However, as I know my handwriting can require the experience of someone used to translating mock Egyptian hieroglyphics, I have set up a folder containing all my story ideas, month by month with the intention of printing them out later. If you do not have immediate time to do it, then jot it down in your notebook and transfer it later.Soon you will have more ideas than you know what to do with. Get as much detail down as you can.Trying to find a story to write will be a thing of the past. Make it your New Year's Resolution for 2006. Just an idea Ciao Wol52
  • I got mine written on paper - most of the times the computer is not even on when I get the idea and it's much much easier to jot words down in a notebook instead. I am not as obsessed as to keep the notebook on my bedside table though, hehehe!
  • I'm not that obsessive that I keep a notebook by the bed, but I do have bits of paper scattered around various rooms so I can always put ideas down while I have it clear. Usually my best time for ideas is late afternoon when I'm cooking dinner, or in the shower on a Sunday morning. I always have a notebook in my handbag/s. Does anyone else find that other creative activities get their ideas flowing?
  • I often have ideas when travelling, particularly when I'm driving.  I pull over and write them down before they're gone.  Long journeys are great for thinking an idea through I find.
  • I get most of my ideas at work, and I record them on a dictophone. Luckily I spend most of my day in an office on my own, but one time the security guard was watching me on the cameras and rang me up saying "Nic, why are you talking to yourself?!"
  • Nicola, I love it. How did you reply or rather did you get one in before he called those fellas with the white coats. Wonderful but it does go to show you that you cannot be too careful. Lucky old you having a dictaphone mind you. bfn Woll52
  • I told him that he was sending me doo-lally-tap by always leaving my office in a tip, and as a result I'd started talking to myself. I also warned him to be very careful, 'cos you never know what crazy things I might do next!
  • Very clever Nicola.Yesterday I got back to my novel. I have been ringing the changes but this morning I read through what I wrote yesterday and felt it was a load of old rubbish. That is the blessing of computers, you can erase your junk which you cannot do so easily on a typewriter and also there is such marvellous software around. Don't understand these other people who still use old steam locomotion, Anyway my detective novel is on full locomotion now. I might have a go at the competition and see what happens with crime writers association. Ciao, Woll52
  • Jacey, I noticed you get ideas while you're travelling. I get mine on the train, hardly anywhere else, for some reason.
  • I wonder why that is?  Perhaps travelling gives some people a sense of freedom, making them more creative? 

    I sometimes take mundane paperwork I need to get done on the train, but often find I'm not really in the right frame of mind to focus on it. I've just realised how silly it is to try!  What a waste of creative time!  From now on it's strictly thinking fiction on the train. 

    Do you ever have to turn the bedroom light back on after settling down to sleep before an idea disappears? 
  • Someone else turns the bedroom light back on - yeah! It's not just me after all! That time between wake and sleep is wonderful, all the day's stuff drifts away and before sleep gets you there is a blank space for ideas to pop into! I always have a notebook handy, by the bed, under the sofa, in my bag - obsessive maybe but very useful!
  • Me too!  Notebooks for ideas everywhere!  I tear off the relevant pages every so often though and put them in one big ideas file. Otherwise I end up with ideas amoungst shopping lists and writing course notes and so on.  I tried keeping different notebooks for different things but it didn't work. I couldn't be bothered to go upstairs to get an "ideas" notebook if my "course notes" book was to hand. 

    I also spend more than I should on a special notebook every time I start a new project. (I love stationary - is that a bit weird???) I do manage to be disciplined about only writing notes relevant to that project in that book. 

    How do you organise your many notebooks Kiri?
  • There are stragetic shorthand pads (with pens handy) everywhere in this house, especially by the bed (& in our van).  One is my miscellaneous 'day book', which I go through when it's full, transferring or clipping anything I want to keep (including, of course, writing ideas!).

    I also always have a piece of paper & biro in my pocket, for shopping lists and 'must make a note immediately' occasions.

    I too find travelling great for writing and thinking, especially trains.  Also, doing things that preclude writing (eg walking in rain).  Best of all seems to be putting the light off for the night, so husband can get to sleep!
  • Oh Jacey my hero! I too am a bit "weird" about stationary. Thank god there's someone else out there. I have notebooks everywhere of course and -get this- one of those little reading lights that clip onto your book so that you can read (or write) without disturbing "he who is snoring" after the bedromm light goes out. Best £4 I've spent lately.
  • Oh Jacey my hero! I too am a bit "weird" about stationary. Thank god there's someone else out there. I have notebooks everywhere of course and -get this- one of those little reading lights that clip onto your book so that you can read (or write) without disturbing "he who is snoring" after the bedromm light goes out. Best £4 I've spent lately.
  • i LOVE buying stationary!! i always buy a random notebook or loads of pens and then say 'i will think of something to use this for to justify spending the money later'. and i never do, heehee. mum always gives me a stern talk to save and not spend if i want to survive uni next year. as a student i cant afford normal stationary prices, so the whole matter is made worse in sales and with deals =D. cant say i use all my bits of statinary to write down ideas, seem to have misplaced that notebook =S. but i do have a ringbinder for my novel, which has maps, research and the writing pad in which i write my very very very very rough draft and then type up onto computer.
  • Guess which numpty pressed the button twice sorry
  • I have piles and piles of notebooks too.  Love the little light clip (must get one of those) my "one who is snoring" gets a bit fed up when the big fat dictionary thumps to the floor and wakes him up.  Dare I just mention stationEry (I think E for envelopes to remember which spelling)
  • A man went into a corner shop to buy some envelopes and asked the girl behind the counter "Do you keep stationery?"
    "I do until the very end," she replied, "then I just can't keep still!"

    OOps! Sorry! Off the topic! Just ignore me!
  • Dorothy/d, does your wonderful daughter do 'foreigners'?
  • I've got one of those Sony type things Dorothy only mine has music on it. Being on a ship for  months of the year, I can now take my entire music collection with me! My beloved laptop also served as a notebook until it went awol thanks to the local ne'er do wells. One of whom leant in our kitchen window and half inched a mobile phone off the windowsill on Thursday. I am so going off Yorkshire. Take me back to rural Devon. Oh and I'm with your daughter on the tidiness thing. My excuse is that I've spent 20 odd years living in small cabins but I have to admit I'm just obsessively tidy. Unlike he who snores...
  • Dorothy, that slightly worries me that your house is too tidy,you either have a wee lady what does or you are not doing enough writing.Tidy house sounds like an anathema to a writer. Woll52 
  • Modern life is full of conveniences but what is lacking is time, especially time to write. I made a lifestyle decision a number of years ago to live more simply. I had a detached house with swimming pool outside Madrid (and if that sounds like a boast, I can assure you it isn't ). I never had time to enjoy it and my memories are of frustration. I reckon I spent more time cleaning the pool than swimming in it. At the moment during school term times when I am working and my teenage son is studying we live in a small 2 bedroom flat with no frills. The priority is that it is easy to keep, the shops are nearby and cleaning can be kept to a minimum.
  • Just returning to the ideas folder for a mo. I've just remembered that down in Devon I have an old record case (you know the ones for storing LPs in?) and it is full of notes and scraps dating back to my teens. Makes my current folder look rather sad. Question is dare I go through it.?
    Oh and a tip for anyone who like me can be a bit optimistic, don't leave your back up discs in your laptop bag. I know duh!
  • Narnie, I think it would help if you sorted that case out,put some cardboard dividers with a tag at the top maybe, label them and bob's your uncle. That has possible potential there to be used. Only goes to show, one should not throw things out in this'throwaway society' I am a great believer in recycling until whatever starts to fall to pieces and in any case, out comes the cellotape or whatever. Regards Woll52
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