Friday Speak Out!: Take Notes, guest post by by Mary Jane Downs

Friday, August 24, 2012
Take Notes!
by Mary Jane Downs

As a writer, scribbling down the ideas that come into my mind during my day is just as important as developing the idea I am working on at the moment. In the past, I wrote on post it notes that never seemed to make it in my special manila folder. Most of the time the notes were forgotten or lost and the inspiration in that moment faded away.

Recently, I was working on a blog post, when an idea for another bog post came to me. On a whim, I quickly created a Word document, titled it and typed everything I could think of about the subject. When I finished, I closed the file and got back to what I was doing. Later, when I went back to look at the new idea, I realized I had written down most of what I needed to write a new post. Thank God for whims!

This system is now what I use to save my ideas for my blog. Whenever I get an idea I want to develop, I make myself take the time to create a Word document for it. I title it (even if I change the title later) and write all the points I can think of at the moment. My thoughts are in no special order. Complete sentences or grammar concerns will come later. I save the documents on my desktop page for easy access, if I want to add more. I have about 10 folders in various stages of completion right now.

In the end, I have found this method has boosted my self-confidence as a writer because I know I already have ideas prepared for when I need them. It helps keep my ideas accessible so I can ponder them until it is time to complete them. Plus I have noticed it helps me be a good steward of the gift God has given me.

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 Mary Jane Downs is a writer, speaker and teacher. She has been featured in Awe Magazine, and has been a guest blogger for the Boot Camp Writer’s Conference and Contact Mary Jane at or visit Mary Jane’s blog

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



Marcia Peterson said...

I have done something very similar to this, and was able to generate several articles for a column I used to have. Great tip!

Petula said...

I used to write post ideas down randomly. I tried writing them in my planner or a notebook, but when I went back if there wasn't more than a title or a sentence I lost the passion behind the idea. So I do the same as you now. I create the post in my Windows Live Writer, sometimes just a title and a few sentences or more, and go back to what I was doing. Makes a big difference if I don't leave it sit too long. :-)

Juliann | Browsing the Atlas said...

Great advice. I sometimes do this on the computer, but more often I jot down ideas, sentences, thoughts, etc. in a notebook. Sometimes I go ahead and start writing the article or blog post as though I'm definitely going to follow through. It helps.

Every once in a while I go back and look through my ideas and am very pleasantly surprised. We should never ignore those whime, should we? :)

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