Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jotting Down This and That

The other day I was reading through my Twitter posts and came across a posting about one of the people I follow forgetting what blog post idea she had earlier that day. In her tweet, she said a comic strip gave her this really great idea. Problem was she could not remember which comic and what idea.

I am sure you all have experienced this same thing. If not . . . boy are you lucky.

After reading this tweet, my mind-starting coming up with this blog post about jotting down notes, ideas, and parts of stories. However, I did not write these ideas down. Nope. By the time I was ready with my word file up, Ashley needed me. Of course she did and if it wasn’t her . . . I’m sure it would have been Sabrina.

One thing I have learned being a writing mama is you never have the time or right moment to jot down the things going through you head; especially if it has to do with your writing. Okay, maybe this only happens to me, but I highly doubt it.

By the time I did sit down to start writing this blog idea, hours had gone by. No, actually almost two whole days had gone by. I know what you are thinking, “Wow. She has a great memory.” Wrong again! But I am not going to tell you what I did just yet to remember what I wanted to say in this blog. First, I’m going to share a few ideas about how others remember what their muse is wanting to share with the world.

I read once many years ago author Anne Rice would write her story ideas, scenes, etc on her bedroom walls. No joke. I really wish I could remember where I read this, but I don’t. See bad memory. Anyway, the article or interview talked about how many of Anne’s stories came to her in her sleep, but instead of writing things down in a notebook . . . she would write on her walls.

As much as this idea appeals to my inner child, I am sure my hubby would not be too happy seeing our bedroom walls covered in my thoughts, ideas, scenes, and dialog between my characters. Of course, if I was a New York Best-selling author . . . he might not say anything. I’ll have to let you know once that happens.

But for those of you who are like me and think maybe the walls of the house are not the best place for writing ideas, you can follow in the footsteps of fellow author Claudette Hegel. She once told me during Back-to-School month how she likes to stock up on all her writing supplies. One of her favorite items is . . . you guest it . . . spiral notebooks. She is able to buy dozens for very little money at this time of year and has an endless supply for her thoughts, notes, ideas, and what not through the year.

I know not all writers are fond of the notebook idea. They can be troublesome to carry around all the time for the just in case moment. Heck, half the time I can’t remember where I put some of my ideas for a story in the darn thing. However, I do use notebooks for some of my writing, but not all of it; and no, I do not write on my office walls either. Plus, you cannot carry walls around with you to write on like Anne Rice either.

One option over the notebook or writing on the walls is the sticky note. A couple of author friends of mine love this system for their ideas. But personally, I would be afraid I would lose one or one of my kids might find it to be the perfect piece of paper for their artwork. I have already seen my computer paper become works of art before my eyes one too many times.

What I find works best for me is voice recordings. I not only have the option of recording repeatedly my ideas, but I do not have to worry about my kids turning my notes into works of art. The other thing I find great about voice recordings is I can record anywhere and at anytime.

I don’t know about you, but most of my ideas come to me when I’m in the shower, feeding Sabrina, giving Ashley a bath, making dinner, or driving in the car to name a few. Places you just cannot stop and write down what is going through your head.

If you do not have a voice recorder, think again. I use my phone. It has a voice recorder built right in to its features. I am pretty sure yours does too. And another thing to keep in mind is if you like to do interviews for your writing; you don’t have to worry about taking notes on what the person is saying anymore. Just pop out your phone, find the voice recorder feature, and hit start. Now you can just chat during that interview and write it all down later when you have the time.

1 comment:

  1. Virginia, I have notebooks and pens everywhere, but I have to say that I LOVE the idea of using my phone as a voice recording device. I've been avoiding voice recording because I didn't want to have to buy/keep track of another electronic device -- this solves that problem beautifully.

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