It’s Thursday and that means it’s time for me to wear a very official, very tall hat and loudly proclaim things that happened in the previous week that helped or hindered my writing progress.
That’s right, anybody who’s anybody wears a tall hat. Especially to the movie theater.
This week on Panning For Clouds, I want to tell you a little story, a personal anecdote about the previous week.
You see, I was out and about running errands, and when I run errands I have a tendency just to sit in silence in the car while I’m going from place to place. Those minutes between businesses are a form of meditation for me, in which I pull ideas and story threads, or even just characters I’ve been toying with, and just let them kinda roam about in the car with me. Instead of listening to podcasts or music or audio books or heaven forfend the regular radio, I use that time to just think about my writing.
Sometimes I don’t get much out of these incursions into my headspace. Sometimes I figure out an entire new story or arc or work out some delicate plotting. I’ve even had brand new ideas (to me) spring into existence and flesh themselves out.
And it is at those times that I find myself muttering “Where’s my pen?” so I can write this stuff down and not forget about it.
They say you never forget anything, but recalling something as fluid as a story idea sure isn’t easy sometimes.
You’ve got to grab hold of these things when they occur to you, write them down, memorize them with a mnemonic device (like Every Good Boy Does Fine for musical notation), record them with your phone or laptop or maybe a security camera if you’re in a pinch. I’ve pulled over on the side of the road to write something down before. I’ve stopped in the middle of vacations or trips or tours to notate something on the back of a receipt or a business card from my wallet.
If you can remember it, great! I’ve forgotten more ideas from a lack of preparation than I care to admit, but I’m also pretty sure most of those ideas have come back to me in some form or other along the path.
So the long and short of this is that you’ve gotta give yourself time to think about your writing, as with all things. Work it through in your head or on paper before you write it down in a story, but remember that eventually you’ve got to write the hell on.