# "Can you tell me the things you remember about me?" # - Adam Duritz (Counting Crows)


Post-It notes and scraps of paper are the bane of my life so far as a writer. I've been an amateur writer for ten years and still haven't been able to find a reliable way to record the random ideas and notions that I get as I walk around from day to day. Ideas and inspirtation I find come from everywhere and anywhere, and most of the time, without warning. Because of this and the paranoia of not wanting to forget or loose that fantastic idea I just had ten seconds ago, I usually force myself to write it down somewhere, anywhere, so that it's recorded and fixed in a more concrete place than the sieve that is my brain.

I used to write key words onto the back of my hand (a "policeman's notebook" a... policeman once informed me) - those keywords would hopefully later spark off the rest of the idea for a story, when I'd have time to write it out more fully, sat in front of my keyboard at home. But the key words and my handwriting scrawled across the back of my stretching skin, more often than not, were illegible once I had the time and space to write them up at a later time of the day. So I began to have a Post-It pad next to me at work or in my pocket, to write down those fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime notions which I just coudn't let go of. This technique served me well for about two years when I realised (especially with Moon Crater) I had about one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven Post-It notes and bits of paper in one box file which were so disorganised and unrelated to one another I didn't know how to begin sorting through them.




Then came the dawn of the age of the notebook for me - tiny, A6 and A7 pocketbooks which I could collect inspirations and observations in more reliably and fully, all in one place. I adopted the habit of writing a small note in brackets at the top of the page to remind me what the idea referred to, along with the date - for instance "(DTOFR) - (29/05/01)" - Genius move, eh? Sounds more organised, right? Well, I'm still not convinced the notebook method works - unless you have specific notebooks for specific novels/stories (I've also tried this) but even then how do you organise what's in those specific notebooks in a reliable easy-to-find way? All of these problems really, really trouble me as a writer.

You may smile as you read this but for the last six months I've been diligently and methodically going through that box file of Post-It ideas for Moon Crater and typing them up into one huge PC file so that I have them all ordered and in one place for quick reference when I need them as I continue writing the novel. I really want to avoid this daft and really inefficient way of conceiving and evolving a novel for whatever might come after Moon Crater, so my current plan is to get one of those A-Z telephone/address type blank books and record everything alphabetically, and see if THAT works... (or I could stick with setting reminders on my phone and annoying anyone in the vicinity when they blare away to tell me to write the ideas out fully!)

Needless to say, any other suggestions to relieve this 'stress' of a writer's lifestyle would be gratefully received at the email address in my intro above. My fiancee calls me a "Worrit" and I certainly am, with my writing most of all, but ideas are important things and I once heard another writer say that to be a true writer you had to develop the character trait of being a megalomaniac. So perhaps that's what this blog post's really about - not a charging crusade against the Post-It, but a realisation that I want to rule the world through my writing - Buw-wah-hah-hah-hah!!! (only joking - I just like doing the evil laugh!)

Comments

  1. I like the a-z idea. Why don't you put all your characters in it like a phone book and expand on it to include places, events etc to make it an encyclopedia of Moon Crater?~~~

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  2. Ooh! My first ever feedback comment! Twig will be pleased ;p Great idea, Moonie (can I call you that? - my name for a fan crowned Moon Crater fan!) Anyway, that idea is brilliant - it'd certainly help me keep track of the characters and places, all of which play a huge part in forming the world of Moon Crater Thanks for the comment and call back soon!

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