Monday, June 18, 2012


Artists are always told to carry a sketchbook with them everywhere. That way you can draw the world around you, whether you're sitting at a coffee shop, waiting at the doctor's office, or stuck in Jury Duty (yup…my first professional comic job, I had to report downtown to jury duty. And I wasn't about to lose my gig, so I brought artwork with me to ink in the lobby while I waited to see if I'd get called up to a room. Thankfully, I didn't). With writers, I think the advice is very similar. I'm never too far away from having something to scribble down on.

The idea is that your "writing time" might not come in a traditional working fashion. Of course you'd like to set aside a specific chunk of hours out of the day to sit down, without distractions, and write. But it's not always going to be that convenient. There's a good chance, you won't even be home or around the computer when that flash of inspiration happens.

For me, ideas are constantly forming. A never ending generator of mad ideas. And it's never on a schedule. And sometimes, never when I'm in front of a computer. I used to just think, I'll remember this thought and pull from it when I get the chance later. But as we know…that usually never happens. It's easy to forget as thoughts can be fleeting. Or we might not remember exactly all the specifics of the idea when we came up with it originally. And it turns into a bad facsimile whatever we half-remember.

So I'm never too far away from a post-it note or scrap of paper. Or even a small notepad or notebook to bring with me. And you technologically savvy people with your texting devices…that'll work too. I just like having something nearby that I can jot down notes longform. Can be as sparse as a word or a phrase (although that can lead to misinterpretation later if you wait to expand on it further). Or most likely, I'll start jotting down sentences and bulletpoints. And of course, these don't have to be fully fleshed out ideas. You're brainstorming here and most if not all will get changed later. But it's always good to get those initial thoughts down, and build out of it.

Of course, anyone visiting you will think you're some wild conspiracy theorist, with lots of scraps of paper and scribblings, randomly scattered around the room. But cast those brainless fools aside….you're an entertainment inventor. And that half scrawled note might turn into your next big story. Just make sure you transfer those ideas onto your computer first, before you throw away and recycle that paper.

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