On Writing – Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Last Friday was supposed to be a great day. I  finished the first draft of my novel at 2 am that morning and, when the sun rose, I was going to visit my mom for a long holiday weekend. Of course, nothing turned out right and my day was one challenge after another. I won’t even bother detailing it because, in the scheme of things, my “bad day” would be considered a cake walk by the majority of the world.  Ergo, I will not complain online, only to my family.

It got me thinking about plans. How many  times do you have your story planned out in your mind and, when in the middle of writing, it completely morphs into something else? Sometimes “something else” is better. Other times you are kicking yourself for not writing down that awesome idea you had at 2 a.m. the night before. I found that happening to me a lot while writing this novel – I would have a great idea and sit down to get it on paper. Much to my astonishment, the words would come  out as something completely different. By the time I realized my mistake, I was too far into the morphed scene and the original idea faded enough I could not grasp it again.

You ask: Where was the notepad that every writer has hanging from a string around their neck? I confess: I’ve never carried a notepad around. I don’t even have one on my bedside table. How completely sacrilegious! Considering I do my best thinking in the car, a notepad would be dangerous. That is why I use the Audio App on my iPhone more than notes. I used it a couple of weeks ago when I thought of a great opening line for this novel. Technically, it was two lines and they are  loads better than what I had originally. Sometimes even when I happen to have paper and pen handy to take notes I can’t read my writing or I will use an abbreviation that makes sense in the moment but weeks later might as well be Greek. There is also always the fear that I will lose the notes or forget where I put them. Basically, I am not as organized as I should be and I have to accept the fact that my lack of organization has sometimes cost me good ideas. When that happens, I go for a drive and hope the creative juices start flowing.

How do you keep up with your ideas? Pad and paper? Computer, iPhone, iPad? Voice notes? Write on your hand?


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