Ideas can pop into our mind at the most unexpected times. When this happens, our face lights up with a grin. We say to ourselves: that’s what I was waiting for, I must remember it.
But looking around for a piece of paper and a pen, or just even using our cell to record a vocal note seems a bit exaggerated. After all we do have a brain, we reason. So we make a mental note and go on with whatever we were doing before inspiration struck.
Now, it is certainly true that we have a brain. But it is also true that very often, when later on we try to come up with our mental note, we’re bound to discover our note no longer resides in our head.
It’s gone, vanished into thin air.
It is like with dreams. Just as when we awake we have only few seconds at our disposal to fix them on something tangible and lasting, also ideas have to be immediately taken care of. Especially creative ideas, the most elusive sort.
This is probably why Joyce Carol Oates is known to take a staggering amount of notes for each novel she writes. Sure, not all writers need to write as much notes as she does, but every writer needs to take at least some notes. Even very successful authors like JK Rowling and James Salter are no exceptions. Continue reading