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Topic: Wrtire down all your ideas. Even the bad ones.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Mar 21, 2011 11:16AM)
If you want to be more creative this is a great thing to do.

Write down every single magic idea you have. Even if they aren't very good ideas. Write them down anyway. It helps if you write them all down in one place too. So you have an "Idea notebook". I use to carry around a small pad of paper for this but lately I've been using my iPhone then I back them up about once a week to my email. So I have a folder in my email box for magic ideas. You can also use a voice recorder. Many mobile phones have them these days.

In fact another tip is to force yourself to "record" or write down a certain number of ideas each day. For example let's start with 5. Each day come up with 5 ideas and write or record them.

Remember, it's not the quality of the ideas that are important here. It's the quantity which in turn forces you to practice thinking creatively. In time this will get easier and easier to come up with ideas. And of those hundreds of ideas you'll write down if a few of them turn out to be worth working on then it'll be worth the time you put into it. Even the most creative magicians out there will only have a few ideas that are actually good ones. Most ideas come and go because after some thought you realize they aren't worth pursuing, have already been done or just to turn to not work for what ever reason. But every once in a while a good idea will come up and that one good idea can be very rewarding.

Another thing that might happen is a bad idea can later turn into a good one with the addition of a new thought or object. Let's me give an example from my own experience.

A few years ago I had the idea to do a floating ball of shaving cream. My idea was to put a ball of shaving cream from a can into the palm of my hand, Make it float around then end up floating to my face. A silly idea but I thought if would be neat to see. But after playing around I couldn't get the IT to hold it. So I didn't think about the idea much for a couple of years. Then one day I was at a store and I saw these fake plastic ice cream cones. The white plastic ice cream looked kind of like shaving cream. Suddenly I realized that if I put real shaving cream in it it would just look like a ball of shaving cream and I'd be able to attach the IT to the plastic. So the original idea became possible.

Had I not written that idea down. I probably wouldn't have remember the idea when I saw this toy that made the effect possible. Taking the time to write them down kind of drills them into your memory for times like that. Because you had to consciously think about it as you write it down.

So write down all your ideas. Don't worry about if your ideas are good or not. No ones going to see them but you. But of course in a number of years you'll be able to brag about your stack of notebooks full of your magic ideas. ;)

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Red Eyed Coyote (Mar 21, 2011 11:29AM)
This is a great post, I was just wondering whether anyone else keeps a journal with notes from books, strategies, effects, tricks, methods, basically a memoir of interesting and useful tidbits :) I keep one in a notebook that is completely disorganized and helter-skelter lol I need to type it up organize it (and password protect the file and back it up several times of course) :)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Mar 21, 2011 01:51PM)
I do this. I also write down ideas for presentations of tricks. I might not come up with a new idea for anything, but if I come up with a different way to present it, that's a useful idea, right there.

I usually carry a cheap spiral notebook and a pencil. I'll jot down ideas as they come to me and if I'm bored, I pull out the notebook and write something on the top of the next blank page to get my creativity flowing. For example, I might write "Kids" and try to work out a different way to entertain kids or a different lineup for a kid show. Or I might write down "medieval" and try to figure out what I would present if I were stuck with only medieval technology.

My one real failing is that I have about a dozen of these notebooks and when I want to review an idea or a script I came up with previously, it can be rather hard to find the right one! I need to designate a 3-ring binder to hold all the ideas I write down. I'm not really all that good about putting them into the computer and I don't think as well with a keyboard as with a pencil, anyway. I like to be be able to sketch ideas as I think of them.

Thank you Jaxon for the tips you have been posting. Great food for thought.

Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 21, 2011 04:19PM)
Plus, you can sell the bad ideas to your competitors! :devilish:
Message: Posted by: twm (Mar 21, 2011 04:25PM)
On 2011-03-21 17:19, gaddy wrote:
Plus, you can sell the bad ideas to your competitors! :devilish:

Nah! There's no such thing as a bad idea. It's just an embryonic idea that hasn't yet mutated into a more useful one.
Message: Posted by: Wes65 (Mar 21, 2011 05:57PM)
Ron, Thanks for your post. The notepad is something I used to do. Now I use my phone. Unfortunately I up graded my phone and lost a lot of notes (still in my old phone, I'm sure there's a way to get them. )
Message: Posted by: Bandon (Mar 21, 2011 06:29PM)
This is definitely a good idea, in fact I've become so scared of losing ideas if I come up with one whilst trying to sleep I have to get up and write it down, one night I didn't even go to sleep because I just had to iron out the little details of the idea I had, which was quite an experience. In the end I didn't use the idea but it was still good to just get the "creative juices flowing" and experience that drive to finish it
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 21, 2011 06:46PM)
On 2011-03-21 17:25, twm wrote:
On 2011-03-21 17:19, gaddy wrote:
Plus, you can sell the bad ideas to your competitors! :devilish:

Nah! There's no such thing as a bad idea. It's just an embryonic idea that hasn't yet mutated into a more useful one.
[/quote] See, this illustrates the basic difference between us - you're a kinda "[i]glass half full[/i]" kinda guy, I'm more of a "[i]hey, what are you doing using my glass?[/i]" type. :innocent:
Message: Posted by: rsylvester (Mar 21, 2011 07:34PM)
Try [url=http://evernote.com/]Evernote[/url]. It stores and backs up all your devises. You can record and audio note, text: you can even take a picture of a business card and store it that way. Download it once and you can use it on your laptop, desktop, etc. Plus you can tag and search.

As a writer in my day job, we've used journals for years, and I've many times been through the routine of waking up in the middle of the night and having to write down the first 10 paragraphs of a story -- features and investigative pieces, of course, the dailies are already on the presses. So I'm a note taker. I've been making lists of effects to purchase, ideas for new ones and routines.

Now all I need is the time to actually put some into action. :)

Great story about the floating shaving cream, Ron


Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Mar 22, 2011 01:55PM)
Great post, Ron!

Iíve been doing this for years. I donít even leave the house without my notebook. And itís not just for Magic; this works for comedy, business ideas, script dialogue, you name it.

Iíve lost several PDAs and phones, so I stopped using them. Paper doesnít crash, isnít affected by magnets, and even if it gets wet, the data isnít completely destroyed.

I read somewhere else that CD/DVDs have a (n estimated) life expectancy of up to 30 years. I have books that are over 100 years old. No school like old school! :) :) :)

ĎCourse I might carry it a bit far. I donít know of anyone else who uses a dry erase marker to write on their Excel screenÖ
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Mar 22, 2011 08:37PM)
Great post, Ron. Couldn't agree more. Especially about writing down the bad ones. Can't count the number of times a bad one, over time and with modification became a great one.
Message: Posted by: wkitwizard (Mar 22, 2011 11:54PM)
Right on the money. For added inspiration, and how to develop a really great creative "notebook", read "Foundations"-Creative Stage Magic.
Message: Posted by: sleightlysilas (Mar 23, 2011 07:43AM)
Good stuff! I'm currently in a long term relationship with my notebook. She has a tendency to remind me of all the mistakes I've done in the past, but she's always there when Im feeling inspired.

I actually discourage electronic methods of storing ideas, especially using phones, because tapping phones has subconsciously become such a common routine action that whatever you're writing might not make as much of an impact. Writing does it for me. Something about taking a pen and making it live in a piece of paper makes it mean so much more. Atleast for me.

Might make sense to someone else too
Message: Posted by: MagicB1S (Mar 23, 2011 07:56AM)
Good stuff here Ron, I couldn't agree more with Father Photius with a little tweeking a bad idea could become a great idea.
Message: Posted by: Red Eyed Coyote (Mar 23, 2011 11:03AM)
On 2011-03-23 08:56, MagicB1S wrote:
Good stuff here Ron, I couldn't agree more with Father Photius with a little tweeking a bad idea could become a great idea.

"bad" ideas just mean you haven't ironed out the details yet... good ideas are just bad ones that someone honed to a fine point. I even write down things from books that I find interesting even if they're not particularly useful or fit my style. You never know when you may need some info on any given topic.

I use this same principle for school. I keep blogs full of "spare" ideas for essays and presentations in case I'm ever in need.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 23, 2011 01:52PM)
If you want to be more creative, you might try an exercise I did in acting class in college. Keep a journal and write down EVERYTHING you think about that is interesting. Examine your own reactions to delay events.

Don't just limit it to routine ideas, and you will find that ideas get inspired by everything and anything ;)