Monday, May 24, 2010

Four Steps To Managing Your Ideas Constructively

It is one of the hazards (and blessings) of being a writer that sometimes you find your imagination brimming with ideas. By brimming, of course, I mean overflowing the wee little cup you have. During the upturn of the typical "feast-or-famine"cycle, this could be great because you have a ready supply of concepts in hand to approach the markets. You surely must have something ideas that will be legitimate enough to catch the eye of some magazine or website. With so many ideas swimming around in those mental floodwaters, you may end up losing control. You may be wondering how you can manage your ideas constructively so a new project can be given the best chances of success.

How Does It Happen

1. Always write ideas down. You should never undervalue the importance of writing down your ideas so they can be references and expanded. A stray idea without such recognition can join other unacknowledged thoughts and ideas. Both contribute to mental clutter - hardly a benefit to constructive management.

2. Organize them. Once you pour all of your thoughts and ideas onto paper or the computer screen, you should take some time to examine them and begin organizing them into categories. Once ideas have structure and potential contexts, they can be used more effectively. This also helps you separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. When you have a host of related ideas, it makes it easier to notice the ones that don't belong.

3. Hatch a plan with your neatly arranged ideas. If you've taken the time to write them down and organize them, ideas offer you the chance to build a strong article, story, book, etc. You can save a lot of time, at least.  All of the relevant material is there in front of you, laid out in a reasonable fashion.

4. Pack them away. One of the most important steps to managing your ideas constructively is having the sense to put some of them away. When you've taken the time to write them down, organize them, even use some of them for projects, you'll have material left over. You won't always use it, but this doesn't mean your ideas are great catalysts for future work. Save them. Refer to them at prearranged times or when something new but relevant comes up and you want to pursue it.

In Closing...

So what did you think? I know there are different opinions about this subject. In fact, there is much more that could be said. I wanted to skim the surface of the topic. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue of effective use of ideas. Leave a comment. Catch you later.

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