I love those little moments where something makes sense, or I get some random idea that seems perfect even if it isn’t. They happen often, mostly story ideas, and I forget to write them down about 90% of the time. I forget just as many good ideas as bad.
I’ve started writing down the ideas as they come to me. They’re usually a vague thought or a couple words that sound really good together. I try to expand on the ideas as they come after I stumbled across some ideas from two years ago. Two years later two words don’t mean anything at all.
They all seem like good ideas at the time, so I run the risk of preserving some really bad ideas. Even a bad idea is better than no idea. I might even be able to turn it into something later.
The majority of the ideas happen when I do something mundane, such as showering or brushing my teeth, and usually when I’m not able to write anything down. The really great ideas take time and they sit on the back burner and simmer. Like the metaphorical watched pot, I have to ignore the thought until its ready. A few days later, something clicks and everything makes sense. It’s a great feeling even if it’s a terrible idea.