Monday, November 25, 2013

A $2 writing tool that really works

    The sight of an index card used to make me wince.
    Those white rectangles conjured up horrible high school memories of doing term papers on topics I didn't give a damn about at age 17 --  and still don't.
    But you couldn't just bypass the index cards  .... Nooooooo.   You had to turn them in with your paper to PROVE you'd done the research and not just copied some stuff from an encyclopedia.  So, essentially what should have taken just one night of cramming, took two.   One night to fake the damn index cards and then a second night to write the paper -- which severely cut into my MTV time.
    Now, I have a different relationship with index cards.
    I freakin love them.
    A multicolor set is a great brainstorming tool when starting a new writing project -- especially a large one.
    One idea, quote, joke, random thought,  snatch of dialogue on each note card.
    No judgments.  Just let your mind be free.
    You can carry blank index cards  with you.  You never know when genius will strike.
     Sure, this can also be done using Evernote on your phone.  (I love Evernote for joke writing).    But there is something thrilling about physically arranging and rearranging the cards and watching your ideas fall into place.   It's a confidence boost.
     Plus, the cards take away the anxiety of actually "Sitting Down to Write the Perfect_____________ (fill in the blank)". You are writing it, but your brain doesn't know it yet because you aren't stuck staring at a computer screen waiting for brilliance to strike.
     And the best part is,  when you DO sit down to write, the index cards  lead the way -- offering little treasures and prompts you may have forgotten otherwise.

 Not bad for a couple of bucks.
 Maybe my old English teachers did know what they were doing?  Nahhhhhhhh

P.S. For those of you who still have a index card phobia, here is another nifty trick I have used to get the ideas flowing.  Making thought clouds. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I've rediscovered the index cards. I've got them everywhere.