I'm a Terrible Writer


Let me tell you why. Writer's are supposed to have these vast stores of imagination and inspiration, socked away for future reference, in their heads. Everything we see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or experience is expected to be catalogued and filed away for future use. We are expected to draw upon these riches and create new worlds, new people, new experiences for our readers. But what happens when a writer can't remember all the things which should be inspiring us to create?


Most writers claim to carry notebooks around to jot down ideas for later consideration. Some have embraced technology and switched to taking notes on their phones either through the "notes" app or a voice recorder. I am neither of these types of writer.


No. I rely entirely upon my brain to keep track of interesting ideas, characters, plot lines, possible twists, unusual words, you name it. And this makes me a terrible writer. Because the wrinkly gray blob residing in my skull is entirely unreliable. Why would I NOT carry a notebook or record things on my phone? Do I enjoy remembering the fact that I HAD a great idea but have lost it somewhere on Aisle 7 between Chips Ahoy and Ritz Crackers? No. Do I feel incredibly stupid and berate myself for not taking the 4.5 seconds to scribble on the back of my hand when I see/hear/do something which would work beautifully in a story I'm writing? Yes. Oh, I tell myself that the "good" ideas will always stick around or float back to the surface when needed. But let's face it, that's a bunch of hooey and we all know it.


And so, I encourage all of you to figure out a method which will work for YOU to keep track of all the wonderful, exciting, horrible, fascinating ideas which twirl and gallivant, saunter and creep through your imaginations. Write it down. Develop a secret code language. Come up with mnemonics or acronyms. Tell a non-writer friend. Text yourself. Something.


Don't be me. Don't lose the muse simply because you forgot to pin it in place.


I will do my best to take my own advice and do the same. Keep me in your thoughts.

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