Traveling and holding on to ideas

sols_6It is now 9:04 pm and today I have driven 350 miles, spent time with my soon to be 94 year old Mother,  just gotten my take out from Noodles and Company, a glass of wine from the hotel and now I am sitting down to write.

This morning at 7:00 am in Minneapolis I had all kinds of ideas for this post. Tonight at 9:00 pm in a hotel with noise neighbors in southern Iowa all of those ideas escape me.   My thoughts of school and students drifted away as I drove those long rainy miles.  Writing, and journaling about the day to day school issues are a bit in the distance – both literally and figuratively speaking.

Funny how for me location and experiences can impact my thinking and writing.  They can either give me writing ideas or take me far a field from the ideas I had hope to write about.   The need for those little notebooks stuffed away in pockets becomes important on days like today when travel and other parts of my life come in between my thinking time and the writing time.

I admire the writers who can just sit down and pull their ideas together and write.  I am married to a writer who does just that.  He also writes everyday, all day since it is his job.   It may get down to the more you write the easy it is.   The idea of exercising that muscle.   Making the writing muscle work – showing up at the “gym” daily makes a difference.

I can feel the difference this month – I have been at the writing “gym” everyday.  Writing is getting easier each night but I still need to take notes along the way to the gym.  The gathering of ideas, thoughts and questions in some kind of notebook – digital or paper is super important.

I need to work on this area of writing and so do my students.   The gathering of notes, thoughts and observations so that when we have time or are ready our thoughts are not lost along the road side.    I see this clearly in myself today but know this happens to my students when they sit down in class and I say write.  They say write what?    This is where little notebooks with our daily scribbles would come in handy.

So we I have another area I will work on with my students after spring break –

  • What is the best way to save ideas, thought and observations to use in our writing?

How do you save your writing ideas and thoughts for later development?  (Today I was using voice notes on my phone while driving to Iowa.)

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Traveling and holding on to ideas

  1. blkdrama says:

    Hmmmm I use Notes on the Mac… I can use it on my phone, iPad and or laptop… perfect.
    I have been at the writing “gym” everyday. I so agree. The more you write the better it gets…

  2. Delilah says:

    I need to work on this also. I have some notebooks in different locations, but I fail to have one nearby when I need it! The biggest lie I tell myself is I don’t need to write it down, because I will remember it!

  3. Wilcox Carol says:

    So I am sitting here thinking, hmm, I SHOULD be taking notes and that would definitely make me a better writer, but I don’t do that. I do have about ten slices started and abandoned. Those might be kind of like a notebook.

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