Time once again for a tweet-up! Anne and I are hosting one this afternoon. To join, head to Twitter and use the #writingsquared hashtag. (Best way is to make a column in your viewer just for that hashtag.)
Yesterday was productive despite a "travel hangover" and the lack of several promised files. I worked ahead in hopes of reining in some of the copy I have to deliver. The clients hope to have this by this month. We're nearly halfway through the month. While I'm keen to meet client deadlines, my hands are tied unless I get the changes soon.
Also, I spent some time reviewing a book for a writer chum. It will launch soon, and I'm itching to get her here to talk about the topic. Maybe next week...
Some of yesterday I spent putting some ideas down on paper. Just the ideas - I'm not ready to generate queries from them. But sometimes a great idea walks up and taps your shoulder. Here's what I do:
Write it down. I've learned long ago to stop relying on memory. Or at least I think I learned (can't remember!). Now I take paper with me everywhere. I keep paper and pen next to the bed (oh, the ideas that come out of that quiet time is amazing!). I underline and print whatever appeals. Plus I leave notes on printed stuff so I'm able to remember what it is I liked about it.
Create a file. If you took Devon's and my course this year, you were blessed to hear how Devon organizes her ideas and creates an idea file for her fiction writing. If not, find some way of bringing your notes into a cohesive, singular area. My nonfiction file is a manila folder with papers and notes inside. That requires me to look in it once in a while, so....
Set up a time to review. Maybe in a few weeks, you'll be ready to look through that folder. Set up an Outlook/Lotus/Thunderbird reminder and stick to your appointment.
Dig deeper into each idea. Don't try sorting them all. Just browse the folder, find one that draws your attention, then explore that topic. What's on the Internet that can inspire that idea to grow?
Think of who needs it. Answer the unanswered question: what will this mean to my chosen audience? For example, suppose your attention was drawn to an article on El Nino/El Nina cycles and extreme weather. What does that mean to say surfers, the fishing industry, or people who love to eat seafood? Figure out whom you'd like to target with that story, then try to answer the question from their perspective.
How do you get the most from your ideas? What is your process for turning neat articles or cool topics into paying articles?
By happenstance, Anne Wayman has a similar post up on ideas today. Talk about universes aligning! Give her some comment love.