This week, in a few spare minutes at work, I decided to make notes about my work in progress on my phone. My iPhone. I do this a lot if I don’t have paper, or if I don’t want people asking what I’m writing all the time. I use my notes app to keep my ideas safe. Other iPhone users may know what I’m about to say, especially if they’ve recently upgraded to iOS6. When I opened my notes after the download, I could literally have cried in the middle of my office canteen. All my notes were gone–ideas that I’d written down and saved for later, things I hadn’t stored in my memory because I thought they were safe somewhere else. Gone.
Which is why I’m making this blog about ideas. Writers get asked all the time where they get ideas from and I’m sure you have your own answer to that, but my little mishap this week has made me think about how we treat them when we have them.
1. Keep them safe.
A tip I’ll be following myself from now on. If you write reminders on your phone, keep a paper copy. If you use a particular notebook, keep a back up on your computer. If you’re super organized, develop some sort of filing system for them.
2. Look over them often.
The two out of over fifty notes I remember are the ones I kept reading from time to time. These are the ones I’m constantly trying to fit into something or find the time to start in its own right. Remember to review the ideas you’ve noted in the past, you may have a use for them soon.
3. Don’t worry when they dry up.
We all have times when fresh ideas are thin on the ground. Keeping a record of them helps in these dry times, but there are always places to find more. But that’s for the next blog. Until then, treat your ideas with respect and if you’re upgrading to iOS6, remember to back up to the cloud!
Helen Dring is a fiction writer from Liverpool, England. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing and is currently writing her first novel. She likes fairy tales, ghost stories and modern history.