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home : opinion : columnist November 15, 2019

10/18/2019 1:06:00 PM
Growing Your Idea File

Marty Reep, Author
Speaker, Forward-Thinker

Do you have an idea file? If so, good! If not, it might be something to think about doing. If you do have one, what’s in it? Have you updated it or added to it, this week? Have you looked in it recently? Something in there may spark another idea that you’ve been looking for. Or, it may help you solve one of the issues that you’ve been working on.

An idea file is a repository of your ideas. Sometimes, the things that you write or list in there are things that come straight out of your own mind. Or, they may come from something you hear, read, or see.

You can write them out on paper, type them on your computer, make a note on your phone, or record them with a voice app. However you prefer to keep track of them doesn’t really matter. The main thing is to get them out of your head and to somewhere you can easily see them on a regular basis.

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The ideas that come to you may make total sense at the time, but you need a place to keep track of them. Or, they may not make any sense at all, and you need to save them for later, for when they will make sense.

You may get an idea for something, and it’s 100%, complete and intact. If so, be grateful! But, it could be that what comes to mind may not be in the form of a complete thought – just fragments that arrive in spurts. That happened to me ten years ago. A couple of lines of a poem, a song, or something came to mind. I had no idea what it was for, from, or supposed to be part of. But, I was diligent, so I wrote it down.

A few weeks later, another seemingly random string of words popped into my mind. So, I again wrote them down on the paper I happened to have in front of me. Then, a month or so went by, and it happened a third time. Again, I wrote that strand of pearls down and filed it away. A year later as I was typing and editing a file folder full of thoughts, those three things jumped out at me. At that moment, they made sense. I copied and pasted the three segments together, rearranged them into logical order, filled in a couple of missing words, and Viola! – I had another poem that was complete.

I leaned back in the chair and stared at the words in amazement. Those three ideas, given to me across a span of six months, were actually three pieces of a puzzle. That whole process still stands out to me, because usually a poem will present itself as a singular, complete unit of thought all at once. But those pieces were just that – ideas…pieces. Had I not jotted them down as they arrived in my mind, I would have missed out on them and on being able to share them with others.

Likewise, how many times has something like that happened to you? You had a great idea or inspiration, but didn’t stop to write it down? When you tried to go back to it later and write it down, you couldn’t remember it…or it was simply gone? And then even later, you saw that previous idea brought to reality by somebody else, either as a finished product, event, or story.

Well, the good news is, you can create your own buried treasure, today! And the beauty is that if you actually do it, you’ll be able to benefit in at least two ways. One – you’ll get the ideas out of your head and down on paper. Two – you’ll have the idea ready to go when it’s time for you to develop it into something real. There are many other rings in the concentric circles of ways you can benefit, but those two will probably get you excited, when you realize the vast potential that is sitting inside your mind!

Do it! Make your idea file! Or, update and use the one you already have.

I’m excited to hear about some of the cool things that will come from your creativity!

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