What Happens to Forgotten Ideas? | House Blog

I had a great idea for a blog post, but then I forgot it.

I can’t remember anything about it, only the vague feeling of ‘Oh, this’ll make a great blog entry’. The rest, my friends, is darkness. It felt like the kind of idea that I would have written an entire post about, instead of doing my usual thing, which is:

  1. get an idea
  2. write two paragraphs
  3. get stuck
  4. wonder why I thought this would be a good idea in the first place
  5. think of something else
  6. repeat steps 2-5 many more times before losing your mind (once you’re officially insane, move on to step 7)
  7. magically discover an idea that’ll fill a whole blog post
  8. panic because it’s already the 18th and you’re behind schedule!
  9. write the post

[Full Disclosure: I did steps 1-5 before that idea hit me, but I’m sure it would have made me go straight to step 7 instead of step 6.  Fuller Disclosure: I only wrote one paragraph before I got stuck.]

Anyways, the point is that the idea left me. Utterly and completely left me. I was sitting at my computer, trying to think of something to write when suddenly I had a brilliant revelation. But instead of writing it down I got distracted by something and by the time I went back to it, the idea was long gone.

This happens most often when I’m trying to get to sleep. I’ll be thinking of how lovely it would be to drift away to dreamland instead of lying here awake when suddenly I’ll think of a new idea or scene or a way to fix a plot point that’s been bothering me. However, the thought of getting up and turning on the light, finding pen and paper and writing it all down can seem like a lot of work. So instead of doing that, I’ll tell my brain that I’d better remember this when I wake up or I’ll be pissed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Which leaves me with the question I asked about three hundred and fifty-three words ago: what happens to a forgotten idea?

Is it waiting patiently for me to remember it one day? It it hovering in the background somewhere, hoping and wishing that one day I’ll suddenly have a light-bulb moment and it can spring forth?

Did it get lost in the ether, swirling in idea-purgatory forever? Hoping that it’ll stay above water and won’t get dragged down into the depths from whence it’ll never come back, buried underneath all the other forgotten ideas?

Or did it move on to someone else, finding satisfaction in being acted upon by a person who didn’t forget it? Have all my forgotten ideas shuffled off to someone else? Is someone else writing the stories that I didn’t?

I’d like to think that those ideas don’t ever leave me, that they get stored away somewhere in the back of my mind, waiting for the right time. And some point in the future something will happen and it’ll appear, ready. Maybe it’ll seem familiar or maybe not, but it’ll be there, and that’s all that matters*.

_________

*And hopefully this time I’ll be smart enough to write it down the instant I think of it.

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