Essential Survival Kit for the Writer

I’ll be straight up with you, this blog post is going to come relatively short and sweet. The blame lies solely on Mass Effect: Andromeda, and I accept no responsibility with regards to my own lack of willpower to say no to an extra hour (or seven) of it. I’m sure I’ll make this relevant somewhere.

Anyway, there’s certain things you can’t force, and inspiration is one of them. Inspiration is the fuel for any creative, and, as with any fuel, you dont want to needlessly waste it. Want to get more mileage from your brain? Then read on!

There’s always a moment when you sing a great tune in the shower, or think of a great idea in the dead of night. Your heart jumps, a smile flickers on your face. These moments are great; your mind has just revealed to you the next charts topping single, the next Picasso, and there’s no way in hell you’ll forget it.

Wait five minutes from this moment.

You’ve forgotten it haven’t you? I know I have. It’s criminal, really. I can only imagine the amount of top-grade ideas which have been drained from the collective minds of humanity. We’d probably all be flying around the galaxy shooting lasers by now.

There’s only one way around it (alright, probably a few), and that is to carry a notepad. Yes, I know, it’s a bit ‘old school’ these days, what with phones and tablets, but these things run out of battery – and that means you’ll be left stranded with an idea which will melt to nothing like an ice sculpture left in the summer sun.

Now, you could think that you could just think that sitting in front of a computer with the idea to write should do the trick. Some people can, and I truly envy them. But for myself, and most of the other writers I know, inspiration seeks you in your weakest moments.

It could be a scene you witness while you rush to work, or a passing conversation you overhear. These kind of moments, while striking at the time, will quickly be written from your brain by the time you sit down to write. You need to note it then and there. You can’t publish a forgotten thought.

It doesn’t have to be a full paragraph or even a sentence, it could simply be a couple of key words. Even you read it back at the next opportunity, those key words should cause your brain to find a shortcut to that time and place.

So, the moral of this post is to always keep something to hand that you can jot a note on. It will save you frustration in the long run. If you’re going for a run, commuting to work, or playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, keep something handy!

See? I told you I would make it relevant in the end.

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