Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Bedside Notebook

When an idea hits you full force, you need to do something with it, even if it's the middle of the night.

That's why I keep a notebook and a pen on my nightstand. I used to replay the scene that came to me over and over so I wouldn't forget it, but that didn't always work. Sometimes if you don't write down the exact phrase that came to you at the moment it comes to you, it's lost forever. At least that's how it works with my forgetful brain.

A couple nights ago I had a very productive night. (Well, productive writing-wise...I actually didn't get much sleep.) Most times I grab the notebook and jot down just a line or two. Usually something to add to a scene I'd been working on, but the other night I wrote enough to create two entire scenes the next day. The trickiest part is being able to decipher what I wrote in the middle of the night with the lights off so I don't disturb the hubby. :)

I've also been known to scribble lines, phrases, and thoughts on any scrap of paper, envelope, or gum wrapper I can find in my purse/car. Like I said, when the idea hits, it's best to get it down right away. I also wrote an entire scene in the back of my day planner once while waiting at the doctor's office.

After a long while away where my interest and muse was waning, it's nice to be back to being productive with my writing again. I'm up to 15,800 words on my WIP. Now granted, they are scattered words, as I'm not writing in a manner that would be considered chronological in any way, shape, or form...but it's getting the job done. Like I said, when the idea for a scene comes to me, I write it. Later I'll figure out if it's in just the right place for the story. I even wrote part of the ending the other day. Whatever works, right?

Today I need to do some weeding out by the pond and finish a scrapbook page, but after that I'm going to grab that notebook and use it as my jumping off point for my writing for the day. Having a place to start instead of facing a blank page with a blinking curser is always a nice feeling.

What do you do when an idea hits and you're not sitting at the keyboard?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com

13 comments:

  1. I have a notebook by my bed as well, although if it's enough of an idea, I'll just get up and use my computer. My biggest problem is when an idea hits while I'm out walking the dog or driving somewhere!

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  2. I really should have done that the other night. I was awake for hours...I should have just gotten out of bed and typed away. But all of those notes were a nice jump start for my writing the next day!

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  3. I sleep like a log, so don't usually wake up with wonderful ideas for stories. However, sometimes a perfect sentence comes into my head just as I'm falling asleep - and of course I can't remember it when I wake up!

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  4. That's exactly what I mean, Paula. If I don't write it down immediately, it's gone! :)

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  5. But usually I'm too near to sleep at that point to wake up and write it down!

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  6. Yeah, I'm sure reaching for my notebook and pen every fifteen minutes didn't help my sleep process that night, that's for sure!

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  7. It's a habit I picked up actually, to deal with stress. If you write down what's worrying you or what you need to remember for the next day, you can go to sleep. Otherwise, I'm up trying to make sure I remember to do something the next day.

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  8. I always hope my middle of the night flashes of insight will come back around when I am coherent. I usually can't muster the energy to write them down.

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  9. Jen, if I wrote down what stressed or worried me, I'd probably then be too stressed to sleep!

    Ana, I'm the same. Not physically de-energised like you, but certainly not coherent If I wake in the night to visit the bathroom, my mind stays blank! In fact, it's still blank when I wake up in the morning. I am definitely not a morning person! And that has just given me an idea for my blog next week!

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  10. Mornings are not my cup of tea either. I'm a big fan of sleeping in.

    Better jot some notes on your idea, Paula, before it slips away! :)

    Although I guess if an idea is meant to be, it will either stick around or come back to us, right?

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  11. S'okay, Debra, I already wrote half the blog (and it's 1 a.m. here!) Just call me night owl :-)

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  12. Wow, Paula...you are a night owl. I'm not a morning person or a night person. I guess I'm a middle of the day person. I like my sleep!

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  13. I like my sleep too, but most days I don't have to get up early, so I can happily be a night owl :-)

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