Every single day, dozens and dozens of writing ideas pass us by. Take a moment to snag some of those ideas to write about later on. I suggest using a practice similar to Oprah’s gratitude journal. Keep a Post-It tab beside your bed and each night before you go to sleep, write down three ideas that caught your attention during the day that you could write about in your journal the next morning (or whenever).
This practice is particularly helpful when your life is overwhelmed with demands and a heavy workload. When you find time to sit down with your writing journal you may not feel like you have anything to write and your brain is too tired to think something up. If you have a stack of little Post-Its to choose from, turning to writing will be simpler and easier.
I’ve been in the last throes of a large project for the last few months that has left me little time for writing. When I do have time, my mind sometimes feels blank. Yet I notice as I move through my day, that I’ll hear myself saying, “Now, that’s interesting,” but the idea slips away. Recently, I’ve begun doing exactly what I’m suggesting, jotting down ideas that popped up during the day that could be possible writing topic for later.
Yesterday, for example, as I was proofing an article with a colleague, we started talking about favorite words and one word that popped into my mind was brambles. Brambles, which suggests rambling, is a much more appealing word than the word briers, which suggest prickly stickers. Writing reflectively about briers could lead to so many interesting avenues of thoughts. Words themselves often provide interesting topics for journal entries. One can explore the nuances of a word, reflect on the type of writing in which the word would most likely appear, and even turn to its etymological connections.
If I hadn’t written the word briers down, I would probably have forgotten it by this morning. I ended up using the word as an example in my weekly blog but I think it could still make for an interesting journal entry on its own.
Maybe next week’s blog.
Image: Courtesy of Mandi Bradshaw