Often, I scribble ideas on the margin, not even within the text. Sometimes they appear in lists, or sometimes an idea starts as a header, like the idea for an essay, and then I leave space for bullet points under it that surely will occur to me as time goes on if the idea is viable. I’ll pick the book up later in the day as well when something occurs to me.
Ideas function like all the other creation processes in nature: There is an overabundance of them. Just like seeds, they get tossed up to land where they may; only a few will make it to germination, and of those, only a few will grow to maturity. And yet, that space, that place for them to even land is crucial for the chance to grow. Without that, they do pop up, but then they get blown off by the wind of everyday busy-ness.
That’s why my Morning Pages notebook is a jewel box for ideas, just like my mother’s old costume jewelry box from the ’50s pictured here. Rarely do I wear one of these ear clips, but every now and then I open the box and pick one up to marvel at it. Similarly, now and then, I page back through my Morning Pages books to marvel at old ideas, to dust one off to see if it still glitters, and to contemplate whether it’s one of those ideas I will want to run with.
I like the concept of our writing ideas as 'jewels' for many of them truly are. Of course, a few turn out to be nothing but glass but even those have some merit.
Nancy, indeed, some are just glass. We simply need a place to keep them and to revisit them to examine what they are.
A creative analogy, Annette. I know I've had ideas that have been scattered to the winds.
William, yes, the winds of everyday life will carry them off in no time.