Inspiration from the Past

I’m a little OCD about the file organization on my computer, which means that I can almost always find the chapters and sketches I’m looking for in under thirty seconds. But in searching for a misplaced file, I ran across a whole folder of story ideas and scene sketches from a few years ago that I had completely forgotten existed.

It was like experiencing a year’s worth of inspiration in fifteen minutes! It was a dangerous discovery, though; there were so many ideas I wanted to explore and develop, and I’m not ready to add another project onto my towering pile yet. I have to finish at least one more full draft of one of my projects before I throw something else into the mix. But this is good motivation to get that draft finished so I can play with a new plot.

How do you keep your ideas organized? Do you ever run across an old idea unexpectedly?


  1. I am completely different – I have no organisational structure and simply keep a journal of my ideas/thoughts. These are barely legible, in no order and indeed are frequently broken up as another idea intrudes upon the first… But I find keeping them incredibly useful, as every time I turn a page, its a discovery. It’s almost like I’m leaving myself gifts for the future!

    That said, I envy people who can organise ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a skill I have yet to develop.


  2. Oh, my West Coast twin… Yes, of course, I’m anally organized with all my writing. Hundreds, probably close to thousands, of files in my ‘Creative Writing’ folder alone. And they’re all in dozens of folders labeled meticulously with what is contained within them.

    Yes, occasionally I find files I forget I’d written. But like you, I have a heaping pile of projects and searching those out will only add to my workload. They’ll keep for another day, though I’m really excited to start working on them in the future.

    For now, they’ll just grow in my imagination until they’re ready to be written.

    • Haha, yes! I have to click through layer after layer of folders before I get somewhere where there’s actually documents with writing in them. Whenever I back up my Stories folder, it takes forever because there are so many subfolders.

      And you’re absolutely right, these ideas will keep for another day. I have a hard time remembering that, and I just want to write everything all at once! But it’s good to let some projects just rest until it’s their turn to come out.

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