Using Pinterest for writing ideas.

Over the years, I’ve used various systems for organizing and storing my writing ideas.

Of course, I use notebooks and journals, which are great for keeping track of my own ideas and not so great for storing ideas I collect out in the world — materials culled from blogs, magazines, websites, and other mediums.

I’ve created folders on my hard drive for storing images I find online. I’ve had manila envelopes for stashing articles and images cut out of magazines and newspapers. Folders, boxes, scrapbooks…it all gets pretty messy and disorganized.

I’ve always wanted a way to keep everything in one medium (preferably electronic) and in one location. Pinterest has been an excellent way to save digital and online content.


writing ideas

Pinterest updates its look. This is Pinterest, 2013.

Wikipedia describes Pinterest as “a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, ‘re-pin’ images to their own pinboards, or ‘like’ photos.”

There’s more to it though, because you can also keep track of links with Pinterest. If you find an image on a website, you can attach the link to the image and pin them both together. So not only can you save images, you can also maintain links back to the source. The Pinterest plugin for your browser, which I highly recommend, simplifies the pinning process by automatically capturing the link to the source website for any images you pin. This allows Pinterest to function like a visual bookmarking tool.

But you can also upload your own images and scour Pinterest to discover images that you can repin to your boards. I’ve used Pinterest to save everything imaginable, from articles and recipes to writing ideas and inspiration.

Tips for Using Pinterest to Collect, Organize, and Store Writing Ideas

Pinterest has many uses; for example, recipe boards are all the rage. The site is rampant with fashion, home improvement, and various other mainstream and pop culture interests. But writers and other creatives have found innovative ways to use Pinterest. Here are a few tips for using Pinterest to gather, organize, and store your writing ideas:

  • Start with writing-related boards: Collect writing tips, resources, quotes on writing (for insight and inspiration), or articles on the craft and business of writing. Make separate boards for different writing-related topics or stash them all in a single board.
  • Round up your favorite books and authors: If you’re a writer, then you’ve probably been influenced by your favorite books and authors. Be an advocate for other writers by supporting and promoting them on Pinterest.
  • Make an inspiration board: You can post images of people, places and things that inspire you. It’s an excellent way to create a digital vision board!
  • Character, plot, and setting boards: I see a lot of these from writers who are developing a work in progress and from authors who are published. Images are a great way to build a story. You can create a board for each project you’re working on or boards for various elements of your story (plot, world-building, characters). And if you’re not ready to share your board with the world, you can keep it secret, which means nobody can see it except you!
  • Create a prompts board: Fill it with images that spark your creativity and make you want to write; this one is ideal for poets and fiction writers alike!
  • Share your work: Create a board that features your writing, from your blog posts to your books! Pinterest is an excellent way to market your work.

How Are You Using Pinterest?

Writing Forward has a Pinterest page, where you’ll find lots of creative writing tips and ideas. I also wrote a post over at The Creative Penn about using Pinterest as a marketing tool for writers and bloggers. I hope you’ll check that out (and while you’re there, be sure to peruse the rest of Joanna’s site; it’s packed with excellent information about the business side of writing).

Do you have a Pinterest account? Do you use it for rounding up writing ideas? If you have any ideas to add about how writers can use Pinterest, please share them in the comments.

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing

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