Like my last post about writing mistakes, this mistake isn’t a traditional writing mistake, because it’s not something going wrong with actually writing a story, but it’s still a mistake related to writing. And because I made this mistake once, I write down every idea I have for stories. Every. Last. One.
Once upon a time, years ago, I was working at a job generating test results letting patients know their hereditary predisposition for cancer (pretty cool stuff, but since I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eight years old, stories have always been running around in the back of my mind), and I had an interesting idea for a story. It was a concept I’d never heard of before and thought it would be pretty fun – but I also thought I would still remember it by the time I got home, so didn’t bother writing it down.
What did I remember about this fun idea by the time I got home and went to my laptop to type it out? Dino-human hybrids. That’s it. That’s all I could remember. I SWEAR it was a great idea! But I can’t remember anything beyond that, and that idea alone is not enough for a story.
After this, I was a bit traumatized about forgetting story ideas, which is why I now write down everything. If I’ve already gone to bed, I text myself or use a notes app. If I’m out and about, I do the same thing (or have a relative text me the idea if I’m out with them and don’t have my phone). And back when I still worked in an office outside my home, I would email myself any ideas I had.
And in case you’re wondering, I do have a document in my ‘Story Ideas’ folder with a single line about dino-human hybrids, just in case I remember the rest of the idea I had all those years ago.