11.07.2011

PiBoIdMo: Day 7

We're a quarter of the way through Picture Book Idea Month, and I'm averaging around 4 to 6 ideas a day. That's got me up to a whopping 31 new story ideas in just one week! Woo! And several of these new picture book concepts got me especially stoked to explore further. I can't wait to see what ideas the next three weeks bring.

Ideas seem to come in batches for me. The PiBoIdMo goal is one idea per day, but when I'm doing dishes or folding laundry or sitting at my desk or driving around town, my mind starts clicking. It's hard to only think up one idea! Is that even possible? The real question is quality, though. I could rattle off a hundred ridiculously stupid ideas, but what's the point if they aren't worth pursuing? The truth is, some ideas will always be better than others. You gotta get 'em all down, though. Even the stinkers. For some reason, if I come to an idea and say, "Naw, that's lame," writing it down somehow frees me to move on to a fresh, new idea. If I don't, then that lame idea tends to clog the pipes in my brain. That's just me.

And, lame ideas look different on paper than when they're floating in the ether. Casting them out of my mind by writing them down or typing them out allows me to log my thoughts without judgement, but also enables me an opportunity for a second, visual perspective. You never know! Maybe one word within that junk pile could lead to something much better.

My other problem is when the flash of an idea piques my interest, but within a few minutes, I've completely forgotten it. That's where smart phones live up to their name. I used to email myself ideas when I didn't have a scrap of paper nearby. Now, I use Evernote, a handy note-taking app that syncs to all my digital devices. In Evernote, I have a PiBoIdMo Ideas "Notebook". Any time and anywhere an idea strikes me, I pop open Evernote on my iPhone, type in the idea, and SAVE. Even if it's just some random thought, like, oh, I don't know... "Deep-sea ninjas," at least it's mine, I've captured it, and later I can give it further consideration. Like, um, how could ninjas fight underwater? Or, maybe they have a shark-powered ninja submarine? Now THAT's a good idea. Good thing I wrote it down.