16 Mar

Idea Bank

Posted in Creativity, DIY MFA, Process, Writing

One of the things you’ll need to collect for DIY MFA 2.O is an Idea Bank.  The bank itself can take any number of shapes: a cookie tin, a shoebox, a jar, a small vase.  I’m using this pink cube vase that I found at a thrift shop.

How it works: Write down and any ideas you can’t work on right now and deposit them in the Idea Bank so that they’ll be there for you when you need them later on.  You can keep adding to your stash or taking from it over time.

How is this different from the ORACLE?  The ORACLE is where you keep your creativity tools.  The Idea Bank is where you store the unused fruits of your creativity.

How I use my Idea Bank: I carry slips of paper with me so I can jot down ideas on the go.  When I think of a funny line, prompt or idea for a story, I write it down, fold it up and when I get home I put it in the bank.  Then when I need a creative kick in the pants, I pull an idea out of the bank at random and use that to fuel my writing.

Note that there are no limitations or rules about what you can put in your Idea Bank. In addition to folded pieces of paper, you can also use put in pictures or any other objects that could spark a story or idea.

Hint: If you’re planning to do StoryADay in May, start building up a store of ideas in the bank.

Think about it: if you come up with one good prompt every day between now and April 30, you’ll have more than enough story ideas to get you through May.  Then when you get to the challenge, you can focus on writing and not on thinking up ideas.

Even if you don’t do a month-long challenge like StoryADay, you can still use the Idea Bank to store your ideas until you have time to work on them.  Right now, I’m only alloted two works-in-progress (otherwise I’d have way too many started projects and none that are ever finished).  I use the Idea Bank to store concepts I don’t have time for right now but would like to come back to later.

Have you found an Idea Bank for your DIY MFA 2.O?  What is it?  How do you plan to use it?


Comments on this post

  1. Kari Marie says:

    I like the concept of an Idea Bank. I have something similar to use for writing prompts, but nothing with actual story ideas. I like the idea of putting story bits in a jar (rather than a notebook) to pull one out at random.

    1. Gabriela Pereira says:

      Totally agree with the idea of keeping things random. I'll be writing more about this idea of leaving things to chance because it's an important part of the ORACLE concept.

      1. JoLynne Lyon says:

        I like it. So far I've kept a parallel document to my WIP with ideas for revision, so I don't have to interrupt the flow when an idea to make it better comes along. Writer John D. Brown said he keeps a "zing" file–bits and pieces he may pull from daily life or the news and incorporate into his writing.

        1. J.L. Campbell says:

          Definitely like the idea bank. 'Course when I start one, my inquisitive 9 y/o is gonna want to know what it is and why I'm doing it.

          1. J.C. Martin says:

            I do kinda have an idea bank in the form of a folder on my computer with two or three sentence descriptions of an idea for a story I may/may not write when I have the time. There's been some pretty promising ones that I'm really anxious to get started on!

            1. Nathaniel says:

              I like it! I have an idea bank i can use it’s a double decker red londono bus but it’s currently full of coins. Will have to go buy some of the other writers things with the coins so i have room for ideas!

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