I was reading through a probate the other day when an idea for a story hit me.
Yes, I read through probates as part of my job. No, the idea was not about zombies.
In any case, I jotted the idea for my story down, then transferred it to an ongoing file I have on my computer to stew over later. I have several ideas on that list, some of which have been crossed out because I’ve turned them into stories. I never actually delete an item from this list because, as outlandish or stupid the idea may seem, there may be something in it that could inspire me later.
It’s often been recommended to aspiring writers to keep a notebook nearby to jot down ideas, and I heartily second that idea. Some people also keep a “dream journal” next to their bed, to write down what they can of their dreams before it vanishes under the pressures of the day. Ideas are fickle, flighty things, and if you don’t catch it when it flutters its wings in front of your face, you may never see it again.
So that’s my advice to my fellow aspiring writers today – don’t go outside without your trusty idea “net” tucked into your back pocket. Or purse. Or computer bag. Because the world is filled with hidden butterflies, and you don’t want to let the most colorful ones get away before you can catch them.