Monday, January 3, 2011

Idea Banks and Rolodexes

I don't know many writers who use idea banks just because I don't know many writers. I hope nobody here minds that not only do I have one for my blog as well as for my stories and poems, but when properly inspired, I'll turn out three or four entries and leave them sitting as drafts until I hit a day when I don't have anything to say.

How many do I currently have in the queue back there? Zero. It's been an arid task, getting this blog rolling, and at least while I'm still trying to get general ideas out there to find out what everybody wants to read, general ideas are sometimes hard to come by.

I used to use note cards in an impromptu-rolodex, but I kept filling them up faster than I used them up, and by the time I went back looking for something, my writing skills had matured and none of the ideas were applicable anymore. So I went to putting the last few pages of my writing notebooks aside for ideas. It works great until you need a new notebook. It's not that I throw them out when I'm done, but I rarely go back to reread them unless I'm looking for something that I don't have (or can't find) typed up.

These days, I'm using Google Docs. I can access it from the cell phone, either to add, review, or weed; I can access it from my computer, where I now do more writing at than in notebooks; I can search it easily; I can be as wordy as I need to be without having to worry about space restrictions.

These Idea Banks, however, are private. I only share them with my closest associates, or the lucky few who notice the ones I do share when I'm in the process of throwing them out. And I make no use of Banks that other people produce and are made available to the public, because those don't sit with my style: I come up with the ideas that I write best about. My only exception is my poetry idea bank, for which I use visual art. That art usually comes in the form of posting notifications on my deviantArt account, which I wade through daily to find new material for. The archives have a lot of art in them, and I don't add to them or pull from them regularly, but the recent art notifications that I store never reaches more than fifty, and I'm constantly using them to write new poetry.