Sep 04 2019
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Maximize readiness for your next great writing idea

Sometimes, an amazing idea hits at the worst possible time.

Maybe you’re in the parent pickup line at your child’s school and out of nowhere, you realize how to solve a problem your novel’s main character is having. Or you’re up to your elbows in tomato sauce during a late-summer canning spree when a strong image or first line of your next poem bursts into your consciousness.

How many of those ideas actually make it onto the page?

Lots of writing advice centers on making time and space to write, and that’s great; but the truth is that you never know when inspiration will strike. If you aren’t ready, a good idea will come and go before you can get home and boot up your laptop.

To stop missing out on writing opportunities, here are three ways to maximize your writing readiness:

Carry a notebook.

Writer, if you aren’t already carrying a notebook with you almost everywhere you go, this tip will change your life! The notebook doesn’t have to be standard-sized; in fact, it should fit in a back pocket, tote, or purse. This notebook is for capturing ideas, not composing drafts. The goal is to jot down just enough of your idea that you will remember it later, when you have more time to sit down and develop it. Some writers like simple, small spiral-bound notebooks, while others prefer soft moleskin journals. Make sure you always have pens on hand, too. Put a few in your bag and car, and make sure there is at least one pen in every room of your house.

Use your phone’s voice recording and notes functions.

No matter how many pens and notebooks you buy, you will find yourself without one at some point when you are bursting with a good idea. But we are rarely far from our phones, right? If you aren’t already, get familiar with your phone’s notes function, or practice making short voice recordings. Put both on your home screen for quick access. You can make a short recording while stuck in traffic (not while driving!), or type a note while out on a walk. If you have a little more time…

Use an app.

Maybe you can’t get to your computer or notebook, but your phone can do more than just receive your notes. If you have an idea and a little time to flesh it out before a full-on writing session, there are apps designed specifically for writers that can help. Need to brainstorm? Create maps and diagrams of your thought process using Freemind. Want to make lists or take notes? Try Evernote. Want to journal from your phone? Life Calendar utilizes fun color-coding for organizing your short entries. Each of these apps is a unique way to capture an idea before it flies away.

Cast a wide net, writers, and you won’t miss the next idea when it swims by!

Have you or will you use any of the tips in this post? Share with us in the comments!

Related reading: Dive into writing readiness with these 5 tips

How to make more time to write (and why it’s probably not a time problem you have)

Write every day with these 6 apps

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