As a writer, I can say the single greatest tool we have is pen and paper. The next best thing? A whole notebook full of random ideas, plot sketches, character notes and general observations of the world. Your “idea book” is a resource beyond a how-to book you can find at a library. Without ideas, inspirations and characters, what good is your story?
Okay, okay, I admit many writers are probably able to store all that information in their heads and never forget a detail. I don’t function that way. I find that if I don’t write something down right away, I may lose it forever.
I was looking through my idea book today. I have about 20 different solid plot lines for novels that I could write now, another 20 idea pearls that still need development. Every genre too – historical, contemporary, fantasy. Then, there are another 20 or so observations, character starts and more. Some of these ideas were from high school even, and I added another in the past few days.
Whenever I get tired of my current project, I go back and re-read all my ideas and I get excited for each one. I start daydreaming about each character and plot and it inspires me to finish up whatever I’m working on now so I can move onto the next exciting story.
I highly recommend finding a sturdy notebook that can take years of abuse and start jotting down all the notes you think of. I’m constantly amazed at the different ideas that come to mind and though they might seem silly, later on it will inspire another idea and so on.