The journey of an idea

If I were to spend every waking moment for the rest of my life writing, I would probably still be left with a pile of undeveloped ideas.

I called this blog A Writers Notebook because I think a notebook is one of the most important tools a writer has. Whether paper or electronic, it needs to be something readily available to record ideas as you think of them. Ideas can be anything, from the entire plot of a trilogy of novels, to an interesting place name, or the description of a character who as yet has no story to accompany them. It could be a line of speech between two unknown characters, or an unusual personality trait, or the description of the colour of bricks on a building. Two ideas might unexpectedly end up working well together, and become something completely different to what you first thought when you wrote them down. A little sketch, a new word that you just heard for the first time, a photograph of somewhere that looks interesting or mysterious.

My problem is I’ve got a few notebooks that I have started and then abandoned. Sometimes ideas can get lost this way. I recently rediscovered the notebook pictured here, the first few pages filled with scribbles of ideas I had dreamed up at some point, and initially I was upset that I had forgotten about it. But their rediscovery is also a moment of excitement – sometimes, as in this case, I can’t recall at all where the ideas came from, or where I was or what I was doing when I wrote them down. That can be a good thing too sometimes – some stories flow onto the page straight away, while others find no harm in waiting and maturing and growing on their own, until such time as a fresh pair of eyes comes back to view them in a whole new light. Sometimes, that time between conception and development is essential. And if the idea is good enough, it doesn’t matter how long it has to wait.


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