So many things can inspire me to write. Sometimes it is an overheard comment or a photograph. Sometimes a title will pop into my head – complete with sights, sounds and characters. (I have blogged on this subject previously in Where Ideas Come From.) Just take a look around you. There is a wonderful world out there. Honestly, some days there is such an overload of potential ideas, it is hard to keep track of them.
Unfortunately not all of the ideas are worth pursuing. Some are only worthy of a short story. Some could prove the basis of a full length story. For many of them, I just do not have the time to give them my full attention at the very moment they present themselves. What to do? I can not ignore them; some of those fleeting inspirations may just prove to be useful some time in the future.
Just in the past year, I have filled a few note books, collated scraps of paper and amassed piles of photographs. It did not take long before I realised that I would have to store these items somewhere, or risk losing some of them forever.
I cleared out one of our bookshelves, and filed the notebooks along with my writing reference books. I seconded some boxes for the loose leaf pages – one for a fantasy story, one for The Department of Curiosities and two more for various short story or random ideas. I also have a separate box for whatever I am currently working on. Right now, that is Doctor Jack. (There are some gorgeous boxes that can be found in shops these days.)
I found many pictorial inspirations on the internet. Initially I printed them out on paper. This soon proved to be space consuming (and wasteful). I saved many more onto my hard drive. This promptly ate into computer memory. It also proved inconvenient when I was not at home and wanted to access some of the images.
Then a writer friend introduced me to Pinterest. Oh dear! I soon learnt to exercise restraint or fall down an internet rabbit hole that facilitates too many hours of procrastination – in the name of research, of course. Once I had mastered (or tried to) the adherence to a self-imposed Pinterest time limit, I set to pinning many pictorial inspirations and research items.
On my Pinterest page you can find some of my writing (and costume) inspirations and research into 19th century London, Adelaide, Shipping, Railways, Technology, Vanity, Fashion and 19th century Circuses.
Now I have even more ideas tweaking my imagination and mulling around in my brain. Now I just need more hours in my day to give them the attention they deserve.
Managing My Writing: Part 1: Organising Inspirations