Owning an iPhone 4S means that I now have the opportunity to write down every idea that comes to me. And I come up with a lot of creative ideas. A lot.
I indulged in recording every unformed thought and story fragment for the first few weeks, but I could not feel comfortable with myself. Every time I groped for my phone after an especially vivid dream or dictated to Siri during my commute, I kept hearing Stephen King scold me.
“If you can’t remember it, it was a terrible idea,” he said in The Atlantic (April, 2011), and I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if I was sabotaging my future novels with The List.
Writing ideas down feels good. The List is a safety net there to provide some cushion on that theoretical day when I will find myself soulless and creatively bankrupt. If and when that day comes, though, perhaps it will make more sense to take a break from writing than to dredge through dozens of “this is sure to be a best seller” gems that I thought of on my way from the shower to my toothbrush.
Yes, I do have a few weeks of ideas written, but I doubt I will ever look at them again. The good ideas are already ingrained in me and are evolving on their own. The best ones are those that return to me every day and are waiting for me to finish my current project and find time to formally craft them.
So, while I cuddle with my current WIP while fantasizing about my next, I’ll take my hat off to Stephen King and hope that I’ll overcome my like of idioms by then.