Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Write it Down!

Last night as I dropped off to sleep, I had an idea for a story. Well not so much an idea as a first line.

When I woke up, it was still there and so was the idea for another story. This one I worked out in my mind. Joy! As soon as I got up, I would go to my computer and open new Word files and put in the ideas ready for when I had time to work on them.

What did I do? I did some hula hooping, a spot of Yoga and had a few goes on the ski slalom. Then I had another coffee and wrote an email – a long one. Of course I had to do the New York Times Set Daily Puzzle to kick start my brain. And there is the news, depressing as it may be, to be read.

And now to Word. Open a new document. Type in the first line of the story. But wait, that other story, the one that had arrived almost fully formed – I should do that one first. Another new document and . . . it’s gone.

I imagine it is out there somewhere looking for another writer. One who won’t prevaricate and who will give it the attention it deserves. I know from experience that it won’t come back to me however much I search for it. I hang my head in shame. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I should know better by now.

A few years ago, the story would have stayed in my mind till I could write it down. It would be there along with several others queuing up to be used. I never forgot an idea. When other writers said they kept a notebook by the bed, I used to think they were being daft. Why on earth would anyone need to sit up in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning and write stuff down?

Young writers with your lively minds and perfect memories take note. One day you might need a notebook by your bed. I have one. I also have a pen. Now all I have to do is train myself to use it.


  1. Glynis Scrivens20 March 2009 at 01:04

    It's reassuring to know that even someone like you still has this happen. I lost a story the other day too - so frustrating. And you're right, they never come back. It's also frustrating when you have the first line, or the denoument and the rest of the story takes ages to form in your mind

  2. I really do wonder where they go.