The importance of capturing ideas and how that impacts your overall creativity

tharp

There is simply too much information out there. And we become forgetful.

And we mix, misplace ideas, dates, terms, names…It’s simply getting hard to

keep up with everything going on around us.

As a creative, in order to nurture your creativity you need to be more than just well organized and  tidy. You want to have all your ideas stored, in one place where you can access them anytime for some further inspiration or the continuation of the project that you put on hold.

Why is that important? Author Steven Johnson, in his book, “Where Good Ideas Come From” suggests that is of vital importance to have that one central storage point, because every time you go to that place where your previous ideas are collected – that encounter is likely to strike some additional inspiration. Further more, combining new ideas with your previous ones, will produce something completely different that you’ll probably like even more – and this is how new, exciting and creative things are born.

In this enlightening interview famous choreographer Twyla Tharp shares how she keeps her inspiration intact:

Plain old file boxes, like the ones that line shelves in lawyers’ offices. I write the project name on the box, and as the piece progresses, I fill it up with every item that went into the making of the dance.”

So what can you do to make your creative work even more creative?

  1. Assign that sacred creative place where will you put your ideas for any later reference and inspiration:

For many writers it is a computer, notebook or evernote: I for example like to put the articles I’m currently working on to be on my desktop so I can access them anytime. Once I’m finished, they are stored to a delegated folder, so my desktop is never crowded or messy.

pinknotebook

My creative corner and pink notebook 🙂

I always have with me this cute pink notebook as I still like to write by hand (sometimes I have a hard time to read what I wrote (I have a terrible handwriting), but persistence is what counts :))

No matter what’s the nature of your creative work you can design your own inspirational box, board, have that shelf or drawer to place all your favorite items and ideas.

  1. Develop your own system.

Once you have that special place, throw in some additional organizing – maybe using index cards, have folders you can arrange by dates or subjects… there are numerous options: it’s important to find the way that works best for you.

  1. Review your creative place from time to time: let out, to let in.

Now, as much as I like to be able to retrieve my ideas whenever I like, there is a hinder that we might get overwhelmed with too much collected stuff, items, papers, books, old hobbies we are not interested in anymore .. that actually can make us feel lost in times and bring additional confusion into our work.

In that case, I simply try to check in with myself – how do I feel about that particular idea or item: if it brings some bad emotions, memories, maybe it’s time to let it go and make room for something new to occupy that creative space. Honesty and looking really deep inside ourselves will tell us if particular idea is worthy of holding on to or not.

In such ways you have your ideas organized and accessible and you are not in danger of becoming a hoarder of trinkets and ‘maybe some day’ items.

How do you organize and store your ideas?

I had the happy idea that what I do not understand is more real than what I do,
and then the happier idea to buckle myself
into two blue velvet shoes.
I had the happy idea to polish the reflecting glass and say
hello to my own blue soul. Hello, blue soul. Hello.
 
It was my happiest idea.
Mary Szybist

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10 Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. Love, love, LOVE your post! Too often we tell ourselves that creativity just “happens,” like something magical that is outside our control. And while that may be true of the occasional flash of insight, more often good ideas come from methodical process, careful thought, and hard work. Thank you for this inspiring and thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have several projects in mind. To avoid chaos over what to do, I used the folder system on my MacBook, a folder for each project and another folder of word document story ideas. This is one long WP document, and when a story idea develops beyond just the thought I put it in another folder.

    Liked by 1 person

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