#Writetip Memory and Writing Pads


Frankie Av

I have a terrible memory.

I’m not sure if this is because I think too much and in order to make room for new ideas my brain forgets others, or if it’s just because of the way Fibromyalgia affects my cognition. The fact is, I forget things all the time. Birthdays, anniversaries, dental appointments….I go to the shop for milk and come back without any! It took me almost twenty years of friendship to remember the birthday of my best friend.  If I don’t write something down, I will usually forget it. My memory is so bad I even bought a Dictaphone to record ideas and such. But, I can’t remember where it is. This was around six years ago and I still have no idea where I put it.

While missing important meetings and appointments is bad enough, I often forget things I want to include in my stories. Just a week ago I forgot an important plot line for Emergence and I still can not remember what it was. My friends all said it can’t have been that good, but I remember being so very happy to have thought up that plot line and can’t help thinking I’ve lost an important idea. It frustrates me and temporarily stalls my creative process while I battle to recall the idea. So why didn’t I jot down that major plot line? At the time I remember thinking “I better write that down!” but in the same thought: “Nah, I won’t forget this!! It’s too good!”

Major mistake.

So, the writing tip for this week is….make sure you write everything down! Even if you don’t use half the things you scribble, at least you will have a record of all your ideas.

I used to write things on spare bits of paper and sticky notes which I then placed on the refrigerator door. Or jotted things down on the back of spam letter envelopes, the cover of the TV guide, anything I could write on. The problem with recording this way meant I always lost those ideas anyway. Sticky notes become dislodged and thrown out as rubbish. TV guides are replaced weekly. Small pieces of paper go missing or end up in the bin. I also had an electronic writing pad which would convert whatever I wrote into a file for the computer. Sad to say, it could not decipher my hieroglyphics and I had to sell it….

This is why I have writing pads stashed everywhere–even though I failed to use one last week. There is one in my bedside cabinet, one in each of my bags, one in the glove box of my car. I even have a waterproof one for if I ever come up with an idea while I’m in the bath. Sometimes I use my mobile phone to jot things down in a text to myself, a draft email or even the shopping list app.

Whatever I think might be important I write down, be it plot lines, character nuances or music I think will match the story. Not every idea is golden, not every plot line is ground-breaking, but every idea I come up with deserves to be explored.

I’m still trying to remember that lost plot line, even as I flick through my jotter and read the ideas I had yesterday. I always learn the hard way. Maybe I should be called the Forgetful Dragon instead of the Dreaming Dragon! XD

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE



About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: sammykaye9@gmail.com Frankie: reluctant.fraggle@gmail.com

Posted on June 24, 2016, in #WriteTip, Frankeh Updates, Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have writing notes everywhere too. On scrivener I have ideas, also on goole docs, on a word doc in my flash drive, on some notebooks… I even send audio messages to one of mh friends telling her book ideas or dreams… LOL
    I should put all in one place thou..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Frankie here! I am a nightmare when it comes to my memory. I’m just home from shopping and forgot the teabags I went out to get!! I’ll need to go back out later to get some. I’ve seen me asking Sam if I ever sent her something as I can’t find it myself. Sometimes I have, sometimes I’ve forgotten to and all is lost XD
      Since I made a muck up of Malevolence for the print version by moving my documents (Which I still have to find) I learned things in a very hard way. So I’m hoping this awful experience will stay in my memory so I can write Emergence without any hassle! Is this likely? For me, probably not! XD Thanks for the comment! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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