Pinning an idea to a page

The art of documenting an idea.

Ideas start in your head. Ideas are fluid, shape-shifting and often delicate things. If you nudge them the wrong way they can be lost forever. If you leave them in your head, they will grow, shrink, distort, morph and transform. Sometimes they will develop and evolve, sometimes they will get cloudy, sometimes they will shrink and whither.

When you document an idea, you pin-down (or pen down) that shape-shifting form. Every word that you write, takes a corner or strand of the idea and pins it to the page on which you are writing. As you work your way through your idea, word-by-word, you continue to fix that shape to the page until it becomes a solid form. You might move the pins around, you might adjust the shape slightly, but basically, it’s there, and now your idea wont be lost.

The skill is knowing when to let the ideas float around in your head, and when to say, “that’s it” and document your idea as quickly and as clearly as possible. If you can get to grips with this you can make the most of your ideas.