The idea of a Daybook comes from Barbara Sher’s book, “Refuse to Choose“. I’ve been doing it for a while now and it’s a place to jot down the ideas that arise and then give myself a few minutes to work them out on paper. The entry that inspired the Hexengrad idea is a great example of the usefulness of this tool.
Ideally, I would do this daily but that isn’t what happens. Rather, when an idea surfaces strongly – with an intense energy – I have learned to pick up a pencil or pen and jot it down in the Daybook.
It usually takes about 15 minutes to work out an idea into a rough and useful form. From there, many entries develop into blog posts, podcast episodes, or actions that I take in my hobby.
I’ve noticed that almost all my ideas in the Daybook revolve around roleplaying games. It’s interesting to me that my creative ideas rarely stray from the general arena of gaming, even if the triggering connection is coming from somewhere else.
But that is what it appears to be about for me: making connections. I have heard (or read) somewhere that creativity is all about connecting previously unconnected ideas. This is what happens in my Daybook.
Some ideas work, others don’t. That’s the way of invention and I love that about being creative. The main thing, I am discovering, is to keep making entries. Ideally, I would be more intentional and work to use the notebook everyday. But I am also happy that ideal isn’t always practical.
My main point is simple: get yourself a notebook, clear a space and time to scrawl, and unload your ideas onto the page.
I started out by writing in pencil because it felt easier to erase, alter, or view the entries as provisional – that’s what I needed back then. A good pen has changed that for me, opening up the feeling of expressing myself with permanence… but your mileage may vary.
The trick is to get the ideas out of your head onto paper. From there you can examine them, explore them, come back to them, and compare them. It helps to see the mental patterns, the cycles of thought, the development of related ideas, and to capture the energy of the moment.
Now that I’ve started, I think it’s likely I will not want to give up on my Daybook.