Writing Tip: Ideas in Action

Ideas.  We all have them.  Billions of people all around the planet have ideas every day.  Some good.  Some bad.  Some brilliant.  Some ridiculous.  From kids to the elderly, ideas are racing through the minds of people 24/7.  But what are they doing with them?

A coworker of mine used to pitch me several game show ideas a week.  And every time, I would tell him to write them down.  He never did.  Just kept coming up with them week after week.  But what if he had written them down?  What if one of them had actually been an idea worth exploring further?

If you think of an idea, write it down.  You can use a notebook, the Notes app on your phone, or a computer file.  Sounds simple enough.  But most people don’t take the time to do this.

And they need to.

There are tens of millions of creative people out there. Still, most don’t take the time to write down their ideas and cultivate the good ones into possible stories.

Having an idea is easy.  Building on an idea is the hard part.

Good ideas deserve action.  If you have a story idea that intrigues you, something that makes you pause and wonder what happens next, this is the time to act and get to work.  The biggest mistake is to let the idea dissolve into memory, only to be forgotten and never expanded upon.

Sit down and take the time to brainstorm and hash out the idea’s finer points and details.  Possible characters, conflicts, locations.  How the story begins.  How it ends.  Is there something compelling for you to continue the journey to make it more than an simple idea?

If so, continue.  If not, move on but don’t throw any of those notes away.  You never know when something from one idea could be merged into another.  It happens.

An idea is actionable when you decide for it to be.  No one can stop you from developing what you’ve thought of into a more dimensional creative work.

The ideas start and stop with you.  It is your choice what to do with them.  

Choose action.  

Happy writing, and I’ll see you next week!

The 3 a.m. Idea

If you’re a writer or other type of creative person, you’ve been there.  It’s 3 a.m.  You’re asleep.  It’s quiet. And then…your brain decides to wake up and start working on your project.  And boom!  Your eyelids fly open like window shades, and your mind goes into overdrive as you start connecting the dots and creating the most elaborate, award-winning scene ever created for audiences.

But you’ll remember it tomorrow morning when you wake up.  And you go back to bed.

Morning.  The sun is up.  You’re up.  And what was that f**king brilliant idea you had last night??!!???

Yep.  It happens to all of us.  Sometimes more than once.  After a few times of it happening, it’s best to give into the creative impulse and WRITE THE IDEA DOWN!  Keep a legal pad or notebook by the bed.  Or, if you have horrifically illegible handwriting when you write fast like I do, type it out in the Notes page on your phone or use your computer.

Best case scenario: you saved a brilliantly creative idea from being washed away in the night.

Worst case scenario: you read it the next morning, realize the idea is crap, and delete or scratch it out.

Either way, it’s available for you to make that decision the next day.

Think it.  Write it.  Save it. Your creative sanity will thank you later.