Have you ever lost a story idea?
Lets face it, creative people have ideas all day long. A word, a scene, and sometimes just that wandering imagination can spark the start of something brilliant. Here's where the problem starts. If we don't write it down every day life can sweep it away. That day job, friends, family, every person we interact with distracts us from that great idea and, like an illusive dream, it slips away.
How do we harness those creative sparks? Here's a few tricks I've learned along the way from other writers.
1. Write it down. Always carry a note book and get it down on paper A.S.A.P.! Put a note on your cell phone. Make it a priority. For the longest time I never wanted anyone to see those first scraps of a story. I feared they would think I was weird for that opening sentence or blurb that popped into my head. What if someone found my notes and read them?
2. Schedule time. After you get the idea down on paper/cell phone, cut a slice from your day to expand on it. This could be as little as a half hour at the end of the day or hiding out in your car during your lunch hour. (No my coworkers don't understand why I spend my lunch hour in my car.) Expanding that idea as soon as possible can turn that spark into a flame. You don't have to start the story, but you can write the blurb, outline, or just scratch more notes that will build your idea.
3. Give up the ego. Ego is that thing inside our heads that is the face we want to show to the world. We may let down our ego-guard with those closest to us, but they're not the ones we worry about. Giving up the ego is as simple as telling the world, "I am what I am, take me as I am." Don't be afraid of someone accidentally peeking at your notes or thinking you're weird for hiding out to get some writing done. If they do, so what? Just give them a mysterious little smile, take your notes from their hands, and get back to your idea. You owe no one an explanation.
So, how do you protect your brilliant ideas?