by Lillian Csernica on April 16, 2013
Writing is to a large extent an intuitive art. While we’re in the process of actual physical writing, we’re making all kinds of comparisons about word choice and sentence structure and action tags and facial expressions. All of these flash through our minds at an almost subconscious level. That’s where we get our ideas, when the great compost heap of our imagination sends up a blossom of inspiration. Quick! Write it down, every detail of it!
We’ve all had the experience of a Great Idea suddenly surfacing in our minds at one of those moments when we were in the middle of doing something like or falling asleep. Maybe it’s not the best time to grab something to write with and something to write on. We tell ourselves we’ll remember the Great Idea until we have a minute to go get that pen and paper or run to the keyboard.
No we won’t. What we’ll have is the empty space in our memories, the shape of the idea without that exciting content. That is a serious downer.
Confucius said, The strongest memory is weaker than the weakest ink.
The writer’s notebook has become iconic for our craft. Spiral notebook, hardback journal, leather bound work of art, legal pad, or these days our laptops, iPads, and other bits of electronic wizardry. Me, I prefer paper to silicon because it’s right there and I don’t have to push and tap and slide before I get to the screen I need. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as you make it work.
Notebooks are those very compost heaps. We write down all the bits and flashes and thoughts and turns of phrase that pop into our conscious minds. The more we say YES to this process of adding to the compost heap, letting it go through its organic process, then reading through it for material we can use, the more blossoms will spring up, allowing us to harvest a bouquet of inspirations.