Should You Write Ideas Down? Or Trust to Remember the Good Ones?


First my schedule was frantically full, then I got sick/allergies/an alien might have invaded my body.

I’m back, and with stuff to say.



I heard a writer once say: “I don’t write ideas down. If I forget them, I guess they weren’t that good.” 

To which I say: “Apparently none of my ideas are good.” *cue fake audience laughter*

While my own personal advice to any writer would be WRITE EVERYTHING YOU EVER THOUGHT OF DOWN OR IT WILL BE LOST IN OBLIVION FOREVER, there is some truth to that above writer’s statement. 

I mean, how many times have you opened a notebook and found something and just went like, “What was that supposed to mean? What is this junk?”

Those ideas that wake you up in the middle of the night and you write down in the dark without even bothering to turn on a light – sometime they pay off and sometimes you are reminded why you sleep during the hour of 3 am. 

I will also say, that if I do have ideas and I don’t write them down, I will forget them. Think of an entirely amazing scene while in the shower? Yeah, if I don’t write it down within the next few hours it will leave my brain FOREVER.

Sometimes I look back at notebooks and find things that make me go “OOOH, that’s how I was going to fix that plot hole.” Or, “I forgot about that idea! I can use it.”

It all just depends. I would say that there is no harm in writing things down, while there can be harm in not writing things down. 

Or maybe I just like writing things down? I am a writer after all. *wink, wink*

Here’s the other thing: you honestly never know where an idea might take you. Sometimes ideas take you nowhere. They just sit in your notebook untouched for decades. Sometimes they plunge you right into your next novel. Some resurfaces after years of mulling over.

The other thing to keep in mind is your memory. I tend to forget what I write. Which has led to odd situations such as: characters being raised from the dead, not remembering if I’m writing in 1st or 3rd person, what colors eyes that person had, and what was their last name?

I can remember important things (like the plot, thank heavens) but details – well they get a pit murky. THAT’S WHY I WRITE THINGS DOWN. 

So my writing friend, whatever works for you.

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3 responses to “Should You Write Ideas Down? Or Trust to Remember the Good Ones?”

  1. Everyone has a different process. When I first started writing, I kept a journal and jotted down story ideas. That lasted a couple of years and then fell away as I started working on multiple writing projects. Now I keep a list of blog topics (as they come to me) on the memo pad of my phone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true! Also I agree the phone is sooo handy when it comes to taking notes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the elephant drawing at the end! Thank you for drawing that and sharing it….beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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