Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Organizing Ideas

How do you develop your ideas? Instead of a few extra sheets of paper in my filofax for those fleeting moments when ideas fly by and risk disappearing if they aren't plucked from the air, I made sure a while back to begin choosing sacs, or purses that are large enough to carry a clipboard.

You would be surprised at how stable and well balanced handwriting or even designs, plot diagrams, character sketches, landscapes, dishes, moments, wisps of perfumed steam rising from Italian meringue or flow charts can seem when sturdied by a clipboard on a moving bus, in the metro, while walking, riding, or sitting in a café among the people. These ideas can be systematically captured and squeezed from the smallest of moments if you get into the habit.

When affixed to a clipboard, a piece of paper can become the calm center of a vortex of all manner of observable movement and activity, inside the mind and out. It is then preserved as an object on its own, to be placed within the order chosen in the times when I am in that frame of mind for imposing order. In addition to free form feuilles, I have pads of many colors and special sheets with pre-set blanks for important information that I use for telephone conversations. I save these pages in sleeves in different binders once my inner administrator has deemed them significant.

I simply adore the sound of a good ball point scratching the single slice of paper and clicking on the board as I bring it down again to begin another word. Black flair pens make voluptuous lines. I love pencils just as well. Sharpened to a pinpoint for precise expression, ready to scratch the surface of anything, or rounded soft lead worn from the hum of flowing ideas, broad strokes in patterns and shapes filling a concept's shadow and light.

When ideas for projects are complete, having been successfully researched - when lists of recipes have been amassed, photographs pondered, telephone calls made, visits to pinpointed locations complete and thoughts put down, the varied singular handwritten sheets are already in their sleeves. I can flip over one and past the next as though I am separate from them, and view them with a different eye.

The sheets are insulated from me, from outside observers, my moods, the weather, coffee rings, events, gusts of wind and cleaning frenzies. I have the pleasure of organizing them, a luxury for me. Once they are clipped into the binders, I can let them go completely because I know they are safe there. I am ready to work, free from distraction, with the ability to use them as reference when needed.

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Blogger Connie said...

great post. i agree- putting your ideas down, in diagrams and lists make them come alive

10:57 PM, May 29, 2007  
Blogger Jann said...

Well said~you are one organized person indeed!I really enjoyed reading your post this eve~you have an incredible way with words......

3:07 AM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger Katie Zeller said...

As much as I love and rely on the computer I, too, love pen and paper. I have small and large, colored spiral notebooks, one for the garden, one for the kitchen, etc. and I love sitting in front of the fire with an array of pens and transcribing the notes I've made on scraps. I really need to put one in my 'sac' to give order to the 'notes' as well. Thanks for the idea!

3:29 PM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger Lori said...

This post speaks to me. I am an idea person as well -- scribbling recipe ideas, lists, designs, and need-to-remember quotes all the time. I carry a tiny composition book in my purse, but am always wanting a better way. I want to carry something large enough to be the permanent form of my jottings but keep it small enough to not weigh me down too much. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this subject, and I'd like to see a photo of your "sleeves" and binder.

4:51 PM, May 30, 2007  
Blogger L Vanel said...

I throw a lot of jottings away, and I have the notebook within I record things in as much of an orderly way as I can, but its the scraps and pages that aren't part of anything that go into sleeves. I will post again about this. Thank you for your comments, guys!

1:23 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger christine said...

Funny that you wrote this Lucy because while traveling to Mexico I relied heavily on my notepad (the one I have for jotting down addresses) but I found it filling up too fast. I really did need a clipboard and bigger paper but where to find a sac that large? You must of course mean a medium sized clip board right? Anyway I'm still searching for the right little note booklet.

3:34 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger SteamyKitchen said...

I love writing on paper with a beautiful ball point pen too - however I always tend to lose my favorite pen AND lose my notebook. Now I type, but I don't get the same creative satisfaction that I do with sketching or writing on paper. Maybe I need a homing device for my pad & pen!

3:50 AM, June 04, 2007  

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