What is the “forgotten novel”? I’ve written it a million times over the years but it will never see the light of day. It will never be the showcase of my work and it will never win awards…why? Because it will never get truly written because I simply forgot to write it down.
I found this saying while perusing the internet and decided that truer words have never been spoken in terms of us writers. I’ll don’t need to write it down really is one of the biggest lies I tell myself. Over the years well-meaning mentors have told me time and time again, carry a notebook, write down the inspiration as it hits…do I do that…nope. And you know what???? I tell other young writers that same advice.
Honestly the world is too busy a place for us to rely on “remembering” anymore. Senility is no longer an old age condition, it is a condition that is the product of too much technology and too much busy-ness. I am often luck if I remember to pick up the kids from school and the eggs from the grocery store and not the other way around…remember a moment of inspiration? Yeah…okay…
I have begun carrying a notebook, which has been tough for me because I am not a “bag person”. I hate the concept of having to carry a bag to put my stuff in. If I can’t stuff it into my pockets I don’t need it, right? Wrong. As a writer we really do need to be constantly prepared because inspiration is a cheeky little bugger and it comes when it feels like it. While it would be great to put it on a schedule…”I plan to be inspired between 2:15 and 4:30 p.m.” it ain’t gonna happen. We need to have that notebook or recorder on hand because when the inspiration hits and you miss it…trust me, it sucks. I can’t tell you how many times I have written the greatest-novel-EVER but because I didn’t write anything down and I told myself I would remember…I lost it completely.
So carry that notebook, put a pad and paper next to the bed, hell use your electronics to take notes – I don’t care – but take them. You don’t want to look back on your career and see all those unwritten, forgotten novels ghosting around. Wouldn’t it be better to take a moment, write it down and then someday tell an incredible story on a talk show about how inspiration hit you on the 405 and bam! The greatest novel ever?
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