This is What Those Little Notebooks are For
Viewed from the outside we writers must seem a silly lot…
A few weeks ago, I chronicled on this blog that I was restarting morning pages, with the goal of ramping up my creative output. I’ve kept with the morning pages—not everyday, but most—and so far my creative output has increased a touch. But what I have noticed is that with the Morning Pages, my mind has started to think about the characters and ideas that get tossed around each morning in the Morning Pages.
That is to say that while I’m at work, coding, I’ll be unconsciously casting my uncast characters in various scenes, settings, and scenarios to see who belongs where. While I’m driving home mouthing the words to whatever on the radio, I’m trying out dialogue.
However, this can sometimes lead to some frantic moments when an idea comes up.
I mentioned we were a silly lot…this past weekend I was at a small party. The entire group was in an intense debate about religion. Something one of the guests said could have been said by one of my characters. Not only that but the logic set forth made a final connection between two arguments my character was making.
So what did I do in that instant? I realized I didn’t have anything to write with.
I immediately started searching around for something to write on…or with. One or two others noticed what I was doing and suggested that I use my phone to record my epiphany. So I popped the phone out of its case and started typing, quickly becoming frustrated with the tiny keyboard. Next I tried the voice recorder; but it was a party and the background noise was drowning out my own voice.
Eventually I found a large napkin and a small ball point, and spent the next 5 minutes covering the napkin with nearly illegible scribble, and trying in vain not to rip my makeshift canvas.
The friend with whom I went to the party, watched me with a bemused look and said, “This is What Those Little Notebooks are For.”