Being a writer means writing, but sometimes writing doesn’t come as easy as we might like. Sometimes the ideas don’t come flowing as a raging waterfall splashing the exact words we want on the page. Sometimes they show up when we have no way of remembering. Sometimes the ideas keep us up at night, or catch us right between sleep and awake and the next morning we don’t remember them.
The best way to combat all of these problems is to write it down!
If the ideas don’t come as easy as we would like, or if the ideas are there, but we’re scared of the words, terrified with the fear that the words will be the worst ever, the only solution is to write through it. It doesn’t matter if the words are “I don’t know what to write” or “Hitler was such a jackass”. It doesn’t matter if they connect to what you were writing or not, just write your first thought, as soon as you pick up that pen or open that document. If the first words you write suck, or are outrageous, the pressure to find the right words will be lessened. If after that first thought, you’re still stuck, keep doing it until you find the right words. You can always go back and edit it (or laugh about it later).
If you have the exact opposite problem, and get ideas when you can’t write them down or keep them long enough to remember them, find a mental image wherever you are, something you’ll remember like an orange penguin eating purple pancakes, or imagine the thought over and over and over again as many times as you can until you get the chance to write it down. If you have a pen, but no paper, write it on your hand or wrist or wherever it will stay until you can write it down somewhere permanently. If the same think occurs at night, and you don’t or can’t turn on a light, I recommend a small whiteboard, or something you can grab quickly in the dark and jot down the idea before it flies away.
So whether the ideas won’t come, or they won’t stop coming: Write it down. No matter how dumb it seems at the time, you never know when you can recycle it later, or turn it into something else.
After all, some of the craziest ideas make the best stories.
How do you keep track of your ideas?