What's a Swipe File? A Swipe file is a file, folder or box that you store good ideas in. It can be a physical thing, or something you keep on your computer or on line. Writers commonly keep files like this, to look back over ideas that peaked their curiosity, were interesting, or had useful information.
You can keep anything you want in your swipe file. Pictures that made you look, titles that made you think, ideas that grabbed you. When you're feeling like you want to compose but don't know where to start, all you have to do is look through the file you saved. It will help you get some inspiration for your own original work.
Using Google Notebooks to keep a swipe file can be useful, because you can access it from any computer that is connected to the Internet. You can also easily share it with other folks you might be working with.
Every day there are articles, videos, songs, and phrases that catch your attention. By recording some of the best ones, you'll have a lot of food for thought when you need it. It will also help you to analyze what about a title, opening line, or idea made it interesting. Studying what fascinates you, and try to figure out why. Then you have a shot at understanding what catches peoples attention, and how to make your own work more catchy and appealing.
If you'd like to hear more about the idea of creating a swipe file, read this post in my freelance writing blog: