Voice memos and notes

I heard a songwriter describe his relationship with the voice memos app on his phone. He said he kept recording ideas for songs but rarely went back to use them.

He found that the best of ideas had this way of coming back to him.

I’ve heard writers describe their relationship with the notes app similarly. They keep taking ideas down. But, they end up ignoring most of the ideas.

Why is that?

On the one hand, it speaks to the importance of saying no to good ideas as part of the creative process. So, it is expected most ideas are not used.

But, on the other, this habit of taking our ideas down – in my eyes – is a mark of the respect we afford to our ideas. When our mind gives us something, we say – “I see you, I acknowledge you” – by taking the idea down. That acknowledgment tends to encourage more ideas.

And, some of them end up being good ones.