How to Capture Ideas for Writing.

For the last six months, I have tried to write at least five times a week. There was a point when I tried to publish twice a day. Ironically this was the advice of someone who later stole my work. Not a reliable source of advice at all.

From that moment on I carried on my mission of publishing five times a week. For the majority, this has worked well for me, until last week. Last week I looked at my ideas folder and realised I was running out of ideas.

Capturing Ideas

My method for capturing ideas is to add them to a one-note folder. Whether it is a snippet of conversation or an idea that comes into my head I write it down. Sometimes I will be reading an article and another idea comes to mind, I pop it in the ideas folder. I consistently add to the ideas, or at least I thought I did.

Until I looked into my ideas folder and found it depleted. The ideas that are left are some that I never want to write about. They have been in that folder that long.

Using Those Ideas

When I have five minutes I look through the ideas folder. Those I think I can add to, I do. It may only be a line here or there, but I add when I can. Over the weeks some ideas will be complete others will be added to.

When an idea grabs at me then I write a longer post, polish it and publish it. Some ideas may sit there for many months, others spend a couple of hours there. The post that speaks to me gets written.

How to Capture More Ideas

As writers, we have to be prepared to capture as many ideas as we can. I need to make an effort to increase my productivity in doing this. I have been enjoying my writing so much I have forgotten to produce the groundwork for the articles.

Whether you are standing in the queue for a coffee or chatting with friends, writers need to produce ideas. You should use a strategy where you write these down as soon as they occur. I have read stories of writers scrawling ideas in the dirt of their car so they don’t forget them.

This is the area I have neglected. Many post ideas have sprung into my head I am sure. Without writing them down at the time my ideas folder is low.

If you do not constantly put the foundations in for your work, then ideas will run out. It is a frightening prospect as a writer to be faced with nothing to write about. I am now embarking on a week’s drive to create as many ideas as possible. The panic of having only ten ideas left to write about is not one I want to visit again.

As writers, there are many tools in our toolkit. Idea generation is one of the most important. Ensure you make life easier for yourself by capturing these as they occur. Not all the ideas may ever become a post, but it is always better to have too many than not enough.

How do you record and capture your ideas?

Sam H Arnold is a UK writer and mentor. To support her writing and read her fiction work join Patreon. To follow all her work find her on Facebook. To receive regular writing tips join her Email List. – © Sam H Arnold 2020

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