Thursday, October 14, 2010


A frequent occurrence as you get older is the short term memory glitch. You walk into the living room for...what was it you were going for? You can't remember. Until you sit back down in your office.

The same thing happens when I'm writing. Up to the point that I sit down in front of my computer, I have fabulous, creative ideas. And then, poof! They disappear into the ether or deep space or in the bowels of my closet.

Wherever they go, it certainly isn't anywhere near my work in progress. Actually, I believe the computer is sucking my ideas right out of my head. If I truly want to be creative, I print out my manuscript, grab a red pen and head out to the dining room or even outside if the weather is nice. There I commit murder and mayhem on my ms. I scribble cryptic notes in the margins. If there are multiple character revisions, I even use several colors.

When the rainbow massacre is over, when the sheets bristle with brightly colored stickies and a sea of exclamation pointed comments, then I creep back into my office and settle in front of the computer. Only then do I dare return to the digital story.

I still forget what I was going to write. But I have my notes. As I pore over the scribbles and crossed out sentences (or even paragraphs), my mind settles back into that creative spot I lost. New ideas well up. Quickly, before the ideas disappear, my fingers fly over the keyboard, recording my brilliance.

I know the computer is so much more efficient but I miss the days of hand writing my stories. There was time to ponder and mull over the vagaries of my characters. Something...some indefinable creativity was lost when I went to typing. Perhaps my fingers type faster than my brain. Or perhaps my brain works faster than my fingers.

In any case, my compromise between printed word and digital is the best I can do. It gives me the opportunity to think while providing the speed necessary to keep up with the rest of the world. So if you see me hunched over a writing tablet--I'm just rediscovering my story.



  1. Hey Annie - this isn't age related! Happens to me all the time!

  2. Happens to me too - way too much. :)

  3. (What was I going to say?)
    Oh too:)

  4. yep. I think it's a writer thing. There's so much going on in out heads that something has to fall out.

  5. Thank God. I'm so relieved to know that I'm not having memory issues its just the computer sucking my thoughts of my head. Whew. Thanks, Dr. Cook:)