Tuesday, 4 October 2011

If You're Going To Make Notes...

Yesterday I had one of those flashes of inspiration. Yes that would make a great idea for a story thought I. But I was too busy to make a start on it so I did the next best thing and wrote a line down to remind me.

Today when I was ready to write, I reached for my notebook. I must confess here to feeling rather smug. I’d completely forgotten my idea, but I still had that feeling that it - whatever it was – would make a great story.

Unfortunately the good feeling was all I had.

The smug was on the other side of my face when I looked at the illegible ink splat on my notebook. Normally a few words are all I need to revive an idea, but for them to do that I need to be able to read them.

What I can read is “Maybe the scrawl is the scribble

I have absolutely no idea….

Scrawl may begin with the letter "d" and scribble may start with an "s", but apart from that I'm clueless.

So if you are going to make notes, make them legible. It helps.

I also had an idea for a blog post about writing. Where is it? Well it went the same way as my story idea except I didn't bother to write it down. If you should see either of them knocking around on your travels, direct them this way, ta!

And you know where this is leading don’t you? I know I’m not the only one who fails to write things down sometimes, but please tell me I’m not the only person who can’t read their own writing!


  1. Ah, the things I've come home with after misreading my shopping list...

    Maybe the daughter is the sister?
    Maybe the dog is the suspect?

  2. You're not the only one who can't read your own writing. I was so puzzled by one entry on my shopping list that I photographed it and put it on my blog to see if anyone else could tell me what I'd intended to buy. Some weeks later, I had occasion to write the same thing again and light dawned - it said 'p/nut butter' (peanut butter).

    When my hubby went shopping for me just after we'd had our first child, he came home scratching his head and asking me what on earth '1 king slug' was. What I'd actually written was 'Icing sug.' (icing sugar).

    As for keeping a notebook by your bed in case inspiration strikes in the night. Make sure you've got a torch and don't write a paragraph in the dark. I couldn't make head nor tail of my wonderful idea (nor remember it!) since I'd written each sentence atop the other.

  3. ooh...

    maybe the dentist is the stalker!

  4. Ummm got me thinking here! But first - perhaps you should have been a doctor - their handwriting's is awful!

    So onto what it could have been...

    ((thinks long and hard)))

    Aha! I know. It's "scrabble" not "scribble". And "scrawl" is "brawl". Yup that's it - a short story about a massive fight at the Scrabble World Championship. Walaha! Done. Dusted.

    Glad to help ;D. Caroline x

    no pressure - but if this story *does* get pubbed in TABFF - you read it here first. ;o)

  5. The scribbles in my notebook are readable, it just seems to be the items on my shopping list that I can have difficulty reading...:-)

  6. Haha! The comments you have drawn are almost as funny as your post! Seems we all suffer from this - Shopping lists are a constant puzzle to me and I also send amazing texts to friends and family that are illegible. I would blame the spell check but I have turned it off so it is only my typos that get through.

    The verification word here is 'laybat' sounds like something I'd have written hmmm Bubble bath for a lazy bath maybe? :-)

  7. LOL! I think we all visit scribble land occasionally. I like to think it makes grocery shopping more of a challenge ;-)

  8. Oh, yes, I've done that before! I hand write once a week (if I can) at my favourite Costa while spinning out the coffee and cake. It works great, except when I've been scribbling a sentence so fast that it takes me far too long to decipher it when I'm transferring to the computer.

    Think we probably get out of the habit of hand writing when typing so much! Hope your inspiration suddenly strikes twice.

  9. Those are good story prompts, Bernadette!

    1 King Slug, Jacula!! I'm the same with lists. I write them and can't understand a word!

    Lol, thanks Caroline!

    Be careful, Carol. My notebooks used to be readable, but I've slipped into bad ways.

    The comments are brilliant aren't they, Deborah! Laybat - lol!

    I'm so glad it's not just me, Lacey!

    I wish we had a Costa nearer, Rosemary - I'd love to do that! Cake and coffee... mmm, oh and of course, writing! But I do think you're right about the typing - keyboards have a detrimental effect on our handwriting.

  10. Now that really IS frustrating! when you took all that trouble to write it down....

    I sometimes write down stuff I dream and then it can be a total mystery when I look at it next morning, mainly because I can't see what is so special about what I felt was vital to note down in the middle of the night. !

  11. My handwriting is bad, even when I am trying to write the perfect letter. So any hurried notes I make are usually illegible.

    Still, I can't be good at everything, I keep telling myself. Just one thing would be good, though. :)

  12. The detrimental effect on my writing, Teresa, was learning shorthand all those years ago. You have to write fast, 120 words per minute and you can't slow down when you return to ordinary writing. That's my excuse, anyway.

  13. This happens to me all the time! Brilliant ideas. Tick. Forgotten. Tick. Illegible handwriting. Tick.

    And don't you just know that that forgotten idea was going to be THE idea; the short story, the book the film the works.

  14. 'Maybe the scrawl is a scribble.' Hmmm. It's a hook you were writing Teresa like in The Da Vinci Code. It's not a scrawl OR a scribble it's a code! :0) xx

  15. Oh yes, it all sounds familiar! It's a mystery how that idea can flash through one's mind so brightly and clearly - and yet be gone within minutes. How does that happen? I am physically unable to write neatly any more. If I'm out of the house, I often use my mobile phone to save these little ideas as draft texts. It's quite handy for that, and I never phone anyone on it anyway!

  16. Dreams sometimes turn into stories, Jenny - it's always worth writing them down!

    Now then Eileen you're good at writing for a start - I mean writing writing as opposed to handwriting :-)

    I pretended I knew shorthand when I was a legal secretary, Marian - I had to learn to write extremely fast and then hope I could decipher my scrawl!!

    You too, Frances :-) Yes that story idea would have been THE one for sure!

    Love it, Sue - a code! That's what it was of course :-)

    That is such a good idea, Joanne - I might have to pinch it!!

  17. It's so frustrating when that happens. I try and write down every idea I have these days as I know it'll be gone in a (menopausal)flash if I don't!

  18. LOL it just means you're normal Teresa. Been there and done that - so frustrating isn't it? I've often written something down to prompt myself and forgotten what that exactly was - some prompt, lol.

  19. It is indeed frustrating, Karen. I used to write whole stories in my head then write them down when I had time. Not any more!

    Not many people say I'm normal, Diane so thank you :-) It's nice to realise I'm in good company with all this.

  20. Hi Theresa! Just joined your blog. I know exactly how you feel. I have very vivid dreams and wake up so excited and full of ideas, yet by the time I realise I am in a little house in Tollesbury and not in a faraway land or tumbling to earth, the ideas have vanished! Drink has, I should think, addled my memory somewhat too - ah the price we pay!! Its got that bad that I have even started a blog to chronicle my attempts to get my novel published - just so I can one day look back with some accuracy!!


  21. LOL! So identify with this one! I still hand-write stories most of the time, but the trouble is my hands can't keep up with my brain so the scrawl is sometimes illegible even to me! Have to say though that fingers on keyboard are even worse at keeping up! Know exactly where Jacula is coming from - have so often written over stuff in my night time notebook - well, how am I supposed to see in the dark that the page is already written on?!
    I have to say that the ideas that escape are probably one of the most frustrating things about writing - if only I could still my spinning brain! x

  22. Teresa - just letting you know I've given you a Friendly Blogger Award this morning. You can pick it up from my blog whenever convenient!

  23. Hi Stu - thanks for joining :-) Isn't drink supposed to aid creativity? No? Oh.... hey ho!

    I used to handwrite everything first, Lydia - I'd be right up the creek without a paddle if I still did. I must say a recurring theme is the illegible notes made in notebooks during the night. That has happened to me too.

    THank you, Rosemary :-) You've cheered me up and I really need cheering up today x

  24. I can't read my own writing either. Once I found a note I'd made about an idea and used it to write from - later I discovered it was actually the shopping list. (Still sold the story though - it's set in a supermarket)

  25. My handwriting is truly horrible, so I don't write anything down unless I really have to. Funnily enough, all the ideas I forget are the brilliant ones.


  26. That's hilarious, Patsy and brilliant you sold the story :-)

    Isn't that always the way, Suz? xx

  27. Teresa, I'm passing the friendly blogger award on to you. You deserve it.

  28. Ah yes, I know what you mean. I started printing my notes so I could, well hopefully could, read what I had written. Alas, it isn't working.
    I've decided to become a doctor and fill out hard to decipher prescriptions...

  29. Thank you, Patsy, that's so friendly of you :-)

    A doctor - now why didn't I think of that, klahanie?!