I recently read a quote attributed to novelist Will Self that reads “Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Self, having suffered through recall of ideas I thought I would remember. If you are an individual with a voracious aptitude for generating ideas, consider starting an idea journal. It may be an idea on how to prepare a meal better, to improve a process, for a business product, starting a business or writing a short story or novel. There is no limit to the number and types of ideas that you generate. Some will be zany, some will be brilliant, some half-baked; it doesn’t really matter as long as you capture the moment for yourself. For 2016, my mantra is “freeing ideas onto paper,” and here are three reasons I encourage you to do the same:
Brainstorm at your pace. In most instances, journal writing is a daily practice. But let’s be real, ideas and thoughts shouldn’t be forced but more organic and intuitive born. When you journal ideas, you have the ability to brainstorm and more fully develop the idea as you think through it over time. Having an idea journal allows you the convenience to revisit your thoughts and make revisions or move in a completely different direction.
May inspire future action. Timing is everything. Just because an idea manifests into your consciousness doesn’t mean that it’s time to take immediate action (or take action at all). However, if write it down, it may be the catalyst you need when the opportunity presents itself for you to act.
Shows the power of potential. When life takes a turn, it can be challenging to find your bearing. With a bevy of written ideas, it can serve as a go-to source and reminder of potential for past creativity and inventiveness to give you that boost you need to continue moving forward.
Now that you realize there is value in writing your ideas through a journal process, the next step is to take action. There are many ways that you can journal, you can write it in a physical or online journal (my favorite is a journal book), audio record, or videotape yourself. All of these options can be found using pre-installed apps on your smartphone, like Notes, Voice Recorder, and Camera video feature. And if you audio record or video tape, consider hiring a transcriptionist to turn your verbal thoughts into words onto paper.
The point is to pick what works best for your lifestyle and just begin. The best way that you can endeavor to free your ideas and own your magnificence is to begin somewhere other than your memory, and what better way than in your own written words.