A Journal of Ideas

Journal of the History of Ideas
Journal of the History of Ideas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Journal of Ideas

Traci Kenworth


Do you keep one? Do you find it useful? I have both a journal and a jar filled with ideas. There basically just those that have come to mind either from dreams or jotting down notes and presto, they appear. The problem for me is I have so many continuous story thoughts that everything is brimming to the full. Does that mean that I’ve stopped writing things down? Not at all. Because today’s blast of notions might diminish or perhaps not even work out in the story I have in mind.

Yes, someday the well might dry up and if that happens, I want to be prepared. On that day, I want to be able to dip into the reserves and bring up gold. Not that I don’t skim through my concepts now, it’s just that with so many new ideas, I ration what I use of the old for now. Saving for that rainy day, perhaps. I believe I have so many possibilities because I try and write every day, at the same time, just like the pros do.

I think that continuous work toward my goal, inspires the ideas to open up and flow. Now, there might come a day when I face a dryspell, but that’s when I’ll reach for the jar or journal and plug away, doing my best to continue with a story. So how about you? Do you struggle with finding “enough” story elements? A bit of freehand writing might help turn that around. Just sit down and write what comes to mind no matter how silly or rough. Use that to develop your story.

One thing’s for sure: if you work your Muse, it will supply what you need. So keep a journal, a jar, even hints on a word document. They’ll be there when you need them, to help get the words down, to finish your story.

20 thoughts on “A Journal of Ideas

  1. I have a bazillion journals lying around. I fell off the wagon for bit in regard to writing in them regularly, but I’m slowly getting back to it. They are useful. Sometimes its a lot of crap. And sometimes, you find great things.

    Great post!


  2. I have several writing journals laying around as well. Sometimes I use all the notes etc that i put in them, other times they get shoved aside. I need to start 2 new journals soon. So I’ll be getting all my stuff together for that as well.


  3. I used to keep idea journals, but then I got locked into the WiPs that I have, so I don’t need to write them down. I only note ideas that are unrelated to anything that I’m working on.


  4. I love the jar idea!!!!! I have stickies with ideas by my computer. When I get enough, or the notes are long, I type them in a file for a specific project.

    I think I have to make me an idea jar. 😀


  5. I love your jar idea! I write stuff down ALL the time! I do keep a journey, but I also keep paper all around the house. If I get a blog idea, scene idea, character, plot, whatever, I write it down. I have a very short attention span, and I know if I don’t write it down, it’ll be gone forever.


  6. That is some good advice Traci! I have many ideas jotted down here and there, in journals, in word files, and scraps of paper. I recently went through one of my flash drives to convert some files from Word Perfect to MS Word and came across started stories I’d completely forgotten about! If I hadn’t written them down, they’d be gone forever.


  7. Thanks!! I kept my files in wordperfect till about three years ago and then realized I couldn’t convert them over and in the end, lost those files during a move to my house. So glad I printed the majority out beforehead, or yeah, they’d be gone forever. I use Word now.


  8. I have a journal that I use for story ideas, random scraps of conversation, random bits of poetry, half-started stories…. It’s like opening a treasure chest every time I look at it. 🙂


  9. I have a file in my filing cabinet filled with scribbles on whatever was close at hand when the idea hit. Tho, I love the image of an Idea Jar!



  10. Great post Traci, I never take the flow of ideas for granted. Will it stop? I hope not – but what if it does?
    So, you bet I have word.docs stashed away and they’re full of concepts, characters, rubbish and rubies. I tend to find that my older ideas are overtaken by fresh inspirations, but I always know where to find this stuff because one day I may just need it! In the words of Gandalf the Grey – Keep it secret – keep it safe! 🙂


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