Menu

Quick Tip: Keep a Notebook By the Bed

Okay, you are perhaps thinking to yourself, “This is the sage advice The Daily Post is giving me? Keep a notebook by the bed?” Yes, we are, and for two reasons:

  1. Partly, it’s January 2 and we’re a little worse for the wear today. Cut us some slack.
  2. Mainly, because we know that only a tiny fraction of you actually do this, which means most of you are missing out on capturing some prime ideas.

Those moments just before you fall asleep (or just before you wake up) are rife with ideas — your brain is all loosey-goosey, and you make connections you’d never make during the bustle of the day. How many times has this happened to you?

  • You get into bed.
  • You have a Great Idea for a post that will go viral, transform the national discourse, get you a book deal, and possibly also solve the hunger crisis.
  • You think, “I could get up and jot this down. But I’m tired, and surely an idea this momentous will not disintegrate into the ether of sleep.”
  • You sleep. The idea disintegrates.
  • You wake up, think “Dang,” and write a post about why the Homeland finale was so awesome.
  • The national discourse remains unchanged.

Now, I’m not saying that the world doesn’t want to know your opinons on Homeland. Maybe your Great Idea is Homeland-related. But if you’d had that notebook by the bed, you could be planning your book tour right now; at the very least, we could all be having a good chuckle.

What are you waiting for? You don’t even need a fancy little notebook — any scrap of paper will do. Don’t let the next Great Idea float away in the sea of dreams!

Show Comments

130 Comments

Comments are closed.

Close Comments

Comments

  1. Strange, I mentioned in my last post that maybe keeping a notebook with me at all times should be my new years resolution – I think it’s a really good idea when you’re reading a book as well. You can write down new words and all the ideas you get before you get distracted by the rest of the book,..

    Like

  2. Sadly, I used to do that when I lived alone, but cannot now. I do love my iPhone for instant idea notes and use it constantly. Most of my log lines get worked out there. But, for those of you who can, do indeed!

    Keep a computer there though if it’s an entire novel…you don’t want to be writing it on post-its!

    Like

  3. I do that. I keep a notebook and pen in my nightstand drawer ready to pull out at a moments notice when I am in bed or just a few feet away in my bathroom and I have grabbed up my pen and paper many times and jotted ideas down or poems or sentences to use in a story or poem. It is actually sometimes why I cannot fall asleep good because i have too many of those ideas or thoughts coming that I can use in a story. Another thing I do is have a notebook and pen handy in he lv. room and kitchen too for just those times.

    Like

    1. Hi there 🙂 I was browsing through the comments when I saw yours. Just had to say. I sort of do the same thing, but I just have three 🙂 Don’t want those ideas to get mixed with anything else.

      Have a good one!

      Like

  4. Absolutely true…I loose splendid ideas as fast as I think of them….if I don’t write something down to later jog my memory. I keep notes in my calendar, which I have with me at all times and I add notes to my Ipad in the middle of the night or on my daily one hour commute by way of Siri.

    Like

  5. Yeh, I keep a notebook by my bed. I see it more as a large coaster than a vessel for my thoughts. Occasionally, at about three-in-the-morning, I get those caffine-laddened spurts of angst. You know, the ones where you think of every lover lost, every investment gone bad, the demise of the Twinkie, as you count seconds, then minutes, till the first spattering of light. With pen in hand, your rambled thoughts fill one, then two, then eighty pages of incoherent babble somewhere between Jack Handey’s “Deep Thoughts” and the unabomber manifesto. And you think, “By God, I could make a living at this.” Till you wake, with notebook and coffee in hand and realize, “If this ever gets into the hands of a caretaker or someone with power of attorney, I’m committed. I think I’ll keep my thoughts to myself, thank you.

    Like

  6. Julia Cameron recommends “morning note”–writing down your dreams as you wake up (preferably on your own, without an alarm. Hah) so that they don’t float away as you become conscious. I wish I’d had a notebook by my bed last night when I dreamt, no kidding, most of the manuscript/screenplay of a sci-fi YA novel that would change the discourse (seriously, it was Twilight/Hunger Games epic). Figured I’d jot some notes after I brushed my teeth. It’s all gone–floating away on the crisp winter air. Oh well!

    Like

  7. I am inspired. I’ll definitely need to do it just before I wake up. If only I could sleep-write and note down my dreams. Now that would be a blog post and a half.

    Like

  8. Yep, great idea indeed! I had kept a notepad with a click-top pen tied to the spiral binding via its clip so I didn’t lose it, but going to be trying a techy version of this with iPad and apps like Dragon Dictation, Evernote and/or SpringPad. Then, it will be a matter of making sure the iPad is within reach hehe! 😉

    Like

  9. i have notebooks, 3×5 index cards, a notebook by the bed, one in the bathroom…and i write stuff to my self on them…i have a huge drawer full, don’t know what to do with them…but some are really interesting. ive been collecting them for years…some are inspired, some mysterious, some obvious,…but all like cookie crumbs marking a trail…places ive been, thoughts i thought were important at the time. keeping notebooks is interesting. im an artist and started keeping notebooks in school and never stopped. i figure when i get to the old folks home i can read them then and remember who i used to be…?

    Like

  10. thought am the only one forgetful; and thought that writers are always full of ideas and can write anytime. I should have a notebook. Thanks for this helpful post.

    Like

  11. I will!!! I buy new note books every year to do so but could not success in past several years. This time I will.

    hu ha hu (just boost my will power:)

    Like

  12. Already have a notebook. Now I need a bedside table within reach. There are just too many times that I force myself out of bed to jot down an idea on the notebook. 😛

    Like

  13. This is an excellent idea. With technology, putting a real notebook will not be troublesome anymore. Fresh ideas usually come first thing in the morning; sometimes, when waking in the middle of the night too!

    Like

  14. I make sure to keep a notebook and pen with me at all times. I keep both Rhodia Pocket Webnotebook and a Fountain Pen in my jacket pocket ready for action.

    Like

  15. Reason 1 had me laughing out loud. One trick I learned from a friend – a dry-erase pen in the bathroom to keep by the mirror – a great place to write down ‘final thoughts’ before the sleep and ‘first thoughts’ before washing one’s face.

    Like