Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Write It Down

That brilliant idea that you had yesterday afternoon? You may remember it now as being very insightful. Unfortunately, that may be all you recall.

I have a very good memory and yet the number of thoughts that can sort of drift away is formidable. That's why a Moleskine or a notecard is usually within reach. It may be a sign of geezerdom to be scribbling away in a coffeeshop but who careth? Those scraps of paper get the job done.

Comparing my memory now to what it was when I was 20 is unfair. There were fewer ideas and responsibilities back in those glorious days. No wonder a sign of youth is the belief that they know it all.


Dan Richwine said...

I am convinced that most of my "brilliant ideas" are better forgotten. However I seldom know which will be better remembered until I actually try to express it in writing. That is why I generally try to write down things when I get an idea, not so I can remember it but so I can hold it up to my own scrutiny later.

As you are a writer, I'm certain you know what I'm talking about. I don't write except for business purposes, but when I do I always make sure I leave it to the side whenever I can, and re-read it later, when I'm not wrapped up in my own genius. Ideas which wither under time are discarded, and the few which stand up, or at least some part of them stand up, I nourish and those are worth all the rest.

As an aside, I seldom do this when posting here, so if some of my thoughts seem half-baked, that's only because they are :)

Gary Owen said...

I agree Dan. Forcing your thoughts through the crucible of writing and (even better) editing is a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were.

I try to keep a running list of "ideas" to turn into short essay form when I have time. It's often fascinating to see what comes out the other side when you jam a "brilliant" idea into the writing process.