Store every failed poem, writing line and idea in one big file to sort through later. Comb through it regularly when uninspired and see what jumps out at you. Similar to a Writers Notebook, but digital and searchable.

Ideas compost. The spark file is the compost pile where things break down and combine in new ways.

I’ve kept a spark file for years and it’s many, many lines long. Because it’s Plain Text, it’s still a compact file and able to be easily searched and looked through. I have it stored as an org file in Emacs and have a function to show a random headline.

It’s useful to look through years later and see the start of ideas.

It is also an example of the Collectors Fallacy in action, as you can store endless amounts of information and be overwhelmed by it.

Notes mentioning this note