Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wait, Let Me Write That Down!

A question for my fellow creative types:

Have you ever been in conversation with someone, or listened to someone else's conversation, and heard the person say something that gives you an idea for whatever you're working on? Maybe it's a line that a character would say, or maybe it's a perfect description of something you could incorporate into the story. But whatever it is, it lines up perfectly with what's in your head.

And you don't want to be rude or creepy and write it down right away. Especially not in front of them.

So you make a mental note to make a physical note about it later.

And you forget it completely. (Okay, maybe that's just me. But if I'm not alone, please let me know!)

That's where I am right now. I was in a conversation with someone, and she described something so perfectly that I just had to write it down. Except I didn't, and I lost it. Now I'm desperately trying to jog my memory. Hmm... maybe something having to do with shoes? Or clothes? I can't remember.

Can anyone else relate? Anyone have any tips for forgetful people? What was something interesting you've heard lately?


Tiana Smith said...

Most of my clever things like that come to me in the middle of the night. I've learned I have to actually get up and write it down or I won't remember in the morning. Sigh.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've had that happen and it's tough! I've actually started asking people if they mind if I write something down that they "made me think of" in that moment. It's kind of nerdy, but if I've told them I'm a writer already, they usually accept it. And unless they've said something catty, asking for a "quote" often makes people happy.

If I can't write it down or it would be totally uncomfortable, I try to repeat what they've said in my head to myself . . . but then that probably looks odd, too. I keep a notebook in my car and try to take one with me wherever I go. I even wrote on a napkin in a restaurant restroom once . . . I had to write something down and was embarrassed about writing it down at the table so I stood by the sink in the restroom and made frantic notes to myself.

Jemi Fraser said...

You're not alone! I've had that happen, and not wanting to be rude, I've repeated the line over and over in my head ... and then got caught not listening to the rest of the conversation. :)

Peaches D. Ledwidge said...

Yes, I've heard a line or stories and relied on my big head to keep it safe until I had the time to write it down. Then, ooops, where did the story or the line or the phrase go?

Cherie Reich said...

Sometimes trying to mentally place yourself in the situation can help you remember the conversation. Or see if the other person remembers. I figure if I forget something, then it couldn't have been that important in the end. LOL!

Stephanie Faris said...

All the time. And yes, I've found if I don't write it down, I almost always forget. I had a brilliant idea for a blog post one night as I was falling asleep and I STILL haven't been able to remember what it was.

Heather R. Holden said...

Brains are too forgetful for their own good sometimes! Muses really need to stop inspiring all of us when it's impossible to jot things down, haha.

Susan Chapek said...

It happens when I'm driving, and only when all the lights are green and there's nowhere to pull over. I've lost so many phrases that way that I developed the habit of repeating said phrase out loud about ten times. But even that only works sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I can relate. I mean to write things down, but then forget to.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

you just described my life lol this happens ALL the time!

Shelley Sly said...

Thank you all for reading and commenting! I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

I'm super swamped preparing to move across the country in a few days, so I'm unable to respond individually right now. But I'll visit your blogs as soon as I can!

Crystal Collier said...

Erg! I hate moments like that. Yes! I totally have those, all the time. But then, I also realize the conversations are stored in the subconscious and it will come out somewhere if it's meant to be.

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