Escaping Ideas

Close-up of a light bulb with its filament glowingDo you ever have one of those vivid dreams—you know, the ones where you show up pasty white and naked in front of your entire 8th grade English class, only to be transported to some tropical jungle wrestling boars because you’ve watched one too many episode of LOST—only to wake up and not remember a single detail?

That’s sort of how I feel about blogging.  Most bloggers will tell you their biggest challenges are discipline and content.  While I’ll fully admit to lacking discipline some days, content is no problem.  I come up with a new blog idea every few hours.  The problem?  Capturing all of those great ideas before my mind wanders on to the next thought.

I’m a runner and in the height of training, I log around 35-40 miles per week, which gives my mind ample time to wander.  Crafting sentences in my head is easy and soothing.  Remembering them?  Not so simple.

I have fragments of blog posts saved in Word Docs, tucked away in my Blackberry’s memo pad, scribbled on receipts and magazine subscription cards and once wrote an entire post on an ad I tore from a Delta in-flight magazine.

Our profession is a crazy and hectic one, and if you’re serious about blogging, it requires some forethought, planning and commitment.  Here are some strategies I recommend to make the most of great ideas and limited time:

  1. Take advantage of technology.  Whenever inspiration strikes, I type a few words or a short phrase into my BlackBerry’s memo pad.  Or I call and leave myself a voicemail message, which is great because Google Voice transcribes all of my voicemails and sends them straight to my inbox.  Digital recording devices also come in handy—I’m thinking about taking one with me on some of my longer runs.
  2. Be prepared.  If you know you get your best ideas in the middle of the night, keep a journal and pen on your nightstand.  Other tricks: Carry a digital recorder in your purse or briefcase.  Keep your laptop open or a notepad handy while you’re cooking.  Get a dry erase board for your office.
  3. Get creative.  Lack pen, pencil or electronic device?  Lip liner works great in a pinch.  Lack paper?  Gum wrappers, cocktail napkins, paper towels, magazine inserts and yes—even your hands—are great for jotting down quick notes.
  4. Use mnemonics.  Remember Roy G. Biv and Every Good Boy Does Fine?  When nothing else is available, you have to rely on your memory, and word tricks work wonders.  I still remember all of my German prepositions because my high school teacher made us sing them to the tune of “Stop in the Name of Love.”  Crazy, but it works.
  5. Sit still.  While it’s frustrating to lose a great thought, sometimes, if you just let go, sit still and wait it out, it will come back to you.

What are some strategies you use to keep track of blog ideas?

Social media maven Laura Scholz is a passionate people person and natural connector whose energy, networking savvy, vibrant personality and entrepreneurial spirit make her a leading voice for female entrepreneurs and communications professionals in Atlanta and beyond.  In addition to her work at Scholz Communications, Laura is the Managing Partner of CRAVE Atlanta, a social and business network for the city’s premiere female entrepreneurs, and one of the founders of EatUpATL, dedicated to showcasing Atlanta’s unique and out-of-the way eateries through exclusive tours, tastings and special events targeted at the digitally savvy foodie set.  An expert on leveraging social media to launch traditional media campaigns, she is a regularly engaged speaker for groups such as Ladies Who Launch Atlanta and the Georgia State University’s Robinson School of Business.  Her blog, The Weary Publicist, explores the ups and downs of entrepreneurship in a digital world.  Follow Laura on Twitter @LauraScholz and learn more about her business at www.scholzcommunications.com.

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