There are lots and lots of things out there about how writers get their ideas. Probably because they get asked that question so often. There is also a really good chance the answer given is “everywhere” or “how do you NOT get ideas?”
I thought I would try something a little different this time. I wanted to add a cautionary tale about losing ideas.
Everyone knows that you have to write them down or you will lose them. I know writers who have whiteboard in the shower to save ideas. I tried the notebook next to my bed, but the handwriting looked like something out a comedy, with the lines trailing down the page. We all lose ideas to not writing them down.
But there is even worse.
You can write an idea down and still lose it.
I have a long list of “notes” and ideas that are jotted quickly, voice recorded, keyed into the phone, etc. More than I will ever get to for ideas again, to be honest.
What is really funny (sad) is that many (all right, most) no longer have any meaning to me. It has been too long and I didn’t leave a good enough note to remember what it was I had in mind when I recorded it. I have ideas all the time, but only the ones that I think are good enough to have potential require me to go through the effort of stopping whatever it is I am doing and jot the idea down so I don’t lose it. So I KNOW that at one point in time, each of these seemed like a REALLY GOOD idea to me at the time.
Now they are crap.
I thought perhaps you might like to see some of them. If any grab your fancy, please, use them. Make it the next biggest, bestest, thing evah!. I’ve already forgotten what they were supposed to mean to me. (Which just proves that my old idea of leaving myself a message through time is a crock. I wouldn’t recognize the message if it bit me on the nose, and wouldn’t know what to do with it if I did.)
A Little Saltman beer keeps the water clear as a fine line find a hair of the dog picture. (okay, that one I blame on the speech to text. I know it had something to do with the hair of the dog that bit you, but the rest… not so sure. I think it should have been A little salt in the beer keeps the water clear (jumbled) hair of the dog that bit you. Now where was the idea in there? Hangover avoidance, I guess…)
What is the baby no good (again, I think it was a text to speech thing, but I have no idea.)
The march of the robot monkeys. (Hmmm… could still get ideas from this one, but … why was it so good?)
Tiger. Casa. ( I got nothing.)
Ode to the other odd odor. (Yeah. Vogon poetry, I’m sure.)
Pelvic Pain Poo People. (yeah. I went far with that idea. What was I thinking here? I need psychiatric help.)
Long distance runners whose shoes talk to them. (Remember, I wouldn’t have wrote just this unless I had a story to go with it.)
Ghost of a robot tries to communicate. ( Same here.)
Guilt by association. Feeling that way.
I lost my cheese!
and the green grass grew all around the dead body
up all hours of the night doing God knows what. (obviously this was a very complex idea that had nothing to do with personal experience.)
Dog food bucket.
The blended parrot.
So this is what I’ve come to. Praying to some kind of hippie inspired Modern Art Jesus. (actually that one sounds really familiar. I may have used that in a story somewhere…)
War is coming. (Yeah. That’s a real specific one. Really helped me remember what I had on my mind.)
So remember kids, when jotting your notes down, make sure you do a thorough job, or they will end up as useless as if you never had done it. *sigh* Each one of those would have been a break-out bestseller, I just know it. Or rather, I knew it. Now I don’t know.