I have several folders on my computer that are dedicated entirely to ideas. Some of them are names, some of them are basic plots, and some of them are even the first pages of a novel. Most of them will never be anything more than that. However, I keep adding more and more ideas to the Idea Pile, because some of those ideas actually do become more than that.
Looking at my folders, I’ve probably got about a hundred ideas at varying stages, some of which are even up to a full chapter. That’s far more than I could ever hope write in a lifetime and I keep adding more ideas faster than I can write full novels. So, the ideas keep piling up higher and higher. But that’s not a bad thing, because not only does it give me a way to keep from forgetting about the many ideas that pop into my head, it also gives me an outlet for those ideas so that I don’t have to worry about trying to keep them stored away in my mind. Basically, it helps me sort things out and gives me a good view of what kinds of ideas I want to write about.
Some of my ideas are old, moldy things that seemed interesting to me five or six years ago, but that I’d probably not even give a second thought to now. In a way, that allows me to track my own progress in coming up with better and fresher ideas. What interested me then versus what interests me now. I wouldn’t say that my interests have changed greatly over the years, but rather my ideas become more complex and matured rather than just something I thought of that sounded cool as it might have been in years past. I even have some ideas that are just a name and so much time has passed since I wrote the idea down that I can’t even remember what it was supposed to be about!
Perhaps one day I’ll dig down into that rat’s nest and try to work it into some semblance or order…