An idea folder is just that; a folder you maintain on the computer, or a text file you keep adding to, or even a physical notebook or folder you pack full of ideas, titles, characters, plots, and just about anything else related to writing. I even keep a small tape recorder to blither into whenever the creative spark hits me. Whenever I find myself at a loss of topics or something to write about, I peruse my idea folder and find something to write about there.
This doesn’t fix all causes of writer’s block. Writer’s block doesn’t always mean you have a lack of subject material. Sometimes you find there’s plenty to write about, but every word that forms from a pen or key stroke ends up reading as nothing but crap. When reading later, you end up aghast and wondering “Did I actually write this stuff?”
The idea folder serves only as a tool to nudge you in the right direction. Inspiration rests with what is compiled, and tucked into this folder in the hopes that you can form something marvelous later.
The best way to start is to create a folder on the desktop (or your writing folder). On occasion, write down ideas in documents, and save to the idea folder. You can also carry a small notebook to jot down notes as needed.
When I surf the Net, I use a few tools that help gather ideas;
I use FoxFire’s browser, which I then found Google Notebook. This handy tool lets me open a tiny window no matter which web site I’m on so I can cut/paste links and text to Google Notebook.
Clipmarks is similar to that but allows users of Internet Explorer or Firefox to save graphics as well as text.