My New Ideas Book


I must be operating on a handful of notebooks right now. Varying sizes. A few that fit in my front pocket. A larger one for a journal that’ll probably only last a week. A few midsized pocketbooks that I’ve continued to carry around even though they’re full. Yesterday, I bought another one.

This one has a hard black cover with a spiral bind and should last a littler longer in the rucksack than the paper covered ones. Size: slighly smaller than my left hand.

But the part of my book that makes me laugh is that as soon as I got it I inscribed it with two warnings.

1) THIS BOOK IS FOR STORY IDEAS ONLY! (with “Only!” in much bigger letters)

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2) JEN: WHEN YOU GET HOME, SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN & START WRITING. THERE ARE PLENTY OF IDEAS TO CHOOSE FROM…

I needed a book like this because I’ve been writing my ideas down in the other pocket size ones and they’ve been getting lost among the research notes, addresses, lists, and phone numbers. Most of the time I can remember them, but with the added travel, ideas are coming faster and more furiously during all hours of the day.

As I was cracking up at my self warnings, my friend asked how I was doing on my current assignment. “Nope, didn’t finish. I got self indulgent and built a website instead.” When I looked up I saw that she had a funny look on her face.

“Jen, it’d be interesting to be you for a day. I can’t imagine having so many ideas all the time.” The thought of being in my own head for a mere visit sounded exhausting. I told her that it was indeed more of a burden than an alternative holiday destination. Then I proudly showed her the new ideas book—organizational tool and muscle relaxer in one.

It has taken me a long time to realize that I can shelve my excitement for a new idea. I don’t need to do it at the exact same time I’m supposed to be working on projects I’ve previously committed to. Shelving is ok. Sure, I have some catch up to do on old ideas. But I’m happy to have built a new corral for the future onslaught of creative cattle that would’ve otherwise wanted to be fed ASAP. Now all I need is a cowboy. WANTED: Ranch hand. Stetson optional.