Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beating Memory Meltdowns

A friend and fellow writer Holli Castillo had a great blog post and I’m going to borrow her idea and talk about it. We are writers and you would think writing it down would be an easy thing but the truth is while we pound away at our keyboards for hours a day creating, we don’t jot down details of everyday life or ideas for our books when we see or think of them.

This last week has been one of those weeks. I’m moving out of my bat-invested apartment, my son is graduating and the open house is the day before. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe it. Keeping up with emails and publicity for my newest book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, that will be out at the end of the month has me pulling my hair out!

In that mix of craziness, I have had some really great ideas for characters, plots and settings. Why my brain decides to be so creative when under tremendous stress is a mystery. The bad news is that in two minutes or less those great thoughts will be gone.

We need to capture those ideas. I have two ways. One is the traditional method with pencil and paper and I do okay just to scribble down the gist of it and hope that will jar the rest of it when I have time to do something with it.
The other is a word document that is always open on my computer. It is where I will type the idea. They always come in the middle of something else and if I don’t note it, it will be gone with the next sentence. I save the document often but go back and look for things there.

It doesn’t matter how you save them either digitally or traditionally, just save them. I don’t think I can pack more into my thoughts and one of the ideas is so cool I can’t wait to work on it. For today though, my son will be the major focus in his cap and gown, all grown up. If something does come to me, I will have to figure out the notes feature on my phone but that is another blog about how my phone and I don’t communicate. Enjoy your day and don’t forget to note those brilliant ideas!

W.S. Gager
Author of the Mitch Malone Mystery Series


chocoaddict said...

Isn't it annoying, how the best ideas come at the most inopportune times?

Enjoy the celebrations with your son and his graduation. Take lots of pictures so you can relive them, both in your mind - and maybe later in a scene you write.


Cheryl said...

I have to get better at carrying one notebook. My ideas are usually scattered on multiple pieces of paper and end up being tossed or lost.

Simone Anderson said...

Congratulations on moving and your son's graduation!

I use a combination of an open document and a journal. It's one my daughter got me for my birthday and it goes everywhere with me. It has snippets of ideas, pictures that I find interesting, and my daughter's developing scrawl as she takes notes for me while we're driving.