The next time you have a great idea for a story, don’t bother writing it down.
Yes, you read that right. Don’t, as in, do NOT.
I know what you’re thinking: what on Earth would possess someone to say something so cynical, or stupid, or both? Well, it’s simple really. You don’t need to.
Between the Notes app on my phone and the many notebooks and legal pads scattered throughout my apartment, I probably have upwards of 150 story ideas that I’ve jotted down over the years. And while they vary in length from a few words to multiple paragraphs, they all have one thing in common: my excitement about each and every one of them peaked the moment I wrote them down.
When you have a great idea (and by that I mean one worth devoting months, or even years of your life to), you’ll know it. Immediately. You don’t need to write it down anymore than you need to jot down the name of that mind-blowingly gorgeous cashier at the bakery on the corner who flirts with you every morning when you buy your breakfast croissant. [It’s Casey, dammit! And the only way you’d ever forget that is if Casey’s (as of yet unconfirmed, but let’s face it, highly probable) boyfriend inflicted some serious head trauma using his (as of yet unconfirmed, but let’s face it, highly probable) mixed martial arts skills.]
My point is that the great ideas stick, okay? They’ll excite you. They’ll nag at you. And they’ll slowly chew away at your insides until one of three things happen:
1) You write the fucking thing.
2) You find out that someone else has already written the fucking thing.
3) Casey’s boyfriend fucking paralyzes you from the neck down (but hey, even then, maybe you’ve got the next Diving Bell and the Butterfly on your hands, who knows?)
So… The next time you have a great idea for a story? Just relax. It’s okay, really. Take that nap you’ve been dreaming about all afternoon. Or wash those dishes you’ve been putting off since Monday. Or hell, go say hi to Casey for all I care (I mean, she’s bound to see the light eventually, right?)
If your idea is truly great, it’ll still be there when you wake up. It’ll still be there after you wash that last bowl. And yes, it’ll even still be there when they roll you out of the hospital in your shiny new wheelchair.