So I joined Pinterest today.
I'm still very new at the whole thing, but the reason I joined (aside from seeing what all the fuss was about) was because I could actually see a real use for me. I'm certainly not the first author to think of this, but it's kind of cool.
See, I have a very specific process when I'm first starting a project. My ideas often come in a very nebulous way (that often bears very little resemblance to the finished product) and while I'm first exploring the project, the first thing that's important to me is nailing the aesthetic of the world. To me, that means knowing what everything looks and feels like -- but also what the emotional feel of it is, what kind of voice it will be, what sort of themes it will have. Once I have a good idea of what the story "feels" like, it's easier to nail details of character and plot.
So when I'm first starting a new story, I spend a lot of time immersing myself in media. I'll watch movies that are similar to the story I'm writing, both so I can get a feel for what works on a technical level, but also so I can lubricate the muse (that's what she said). I'll find music that matches the themes and moods I'm trying to evoke, and I'll put together whole soundtracks to write to. And I look at art and photographs -- a LOT of art and photographs.
Obviously, you can see where this is going. Before, I used to gather up all of these pictures in folders or paste them into a document or print them out and pin them up all over my office area. Now I can collect them all onto a virtual pinboard, made even easier by the fact that they link back to the source in case I forget what something was called.
As an added bonus, I can share all of this inspiration with others. I'd like to believe that my prospective fans, once the book is someday published, would get a kick out of seeing this -- sort of like a DVD extra. And because of the way Pinterest is set up, you could probably use it for building buzz. If someone likes the kinds of things you pin, they might like the book itself, so they might be interested in picking up a copy. Just a theory.
Anyway, so that's my theory. You should all go follow me on Pinterest.
And if you've got any more cool ideas for how writers can use the site, let me know in the comments!