Most of us keep a journal or file on our smart phone for collecting lines of dialogue we overheard on the bus, a photo taken during the “golden hour” or the drawing of an idea sparked from a random encounter at the local coffee shop. These are nuggets of inspiration but there is another outlet — yourself.
Taking inspiration from a recent blog post on Fast Company, on my laptop, I keep a folder of all the dialogue, scenes and sentences that I have edited out of stories. This storage bin becomes a treasure chest for future blog posts, short stories or even the starting point for another book idea. It is a go-to to jump start the creative juices when I may be lacking a bit of motivation.
Inspiration comes from all over and that includes from previous projects. Our minds are created to stew, mull and merge different ideas. What doesn’t work right now could be the tie that binds another story. What gets cut from a blog about possibility thinking may end up as the foundation for a blog on shifting your perspective on dating. A line deleted from a short story about alien pirates may feed directly into how to up-cycle a ladder into a bookshelf.
I’m also big on serendipity. There are times when something within us is fighting to get to the surface of our minds through the daily to-do lists and mental clutter. Reading over the list of cut lines, good dialogue sequences or even creative phrases may produce the spark that shines the light on a book idea or blog topic hiding within.
Be “writer-friendly” and save or recycle your creative thoughts. It benefits everyone.