Oh, this is just infuriating.
There I was, out in the back yard, and a thought occurred to me. “Oh, that’s an interesting thought, I could write about that,” I said to myself, but when I went back inside all I could remember is that I had had an interesting thought that could have been a blog post or short article of some kind.
Later in the day, out in the front yard, I had another interesting thought. I’m positive that it was a different interesting thought, not the original one, because I said to myself, “Oh right, now I remember what I was thinking this morning, and now I have this thought. Great! Now I’ve got two good ideas to write about.”
You know why I’m infuriated, of course: Once back inside, I forgot both ideas.
When you write, you have two imperatives. The first is that you carry something to write with at all times — pen and notepad, a smartphone, anything. The second is that when a thought occurs to you that may be worth writing down, write it down.
It’s really that simple. To be a writer, you must write. And to write, you must have something to write with.
Carry implements of writing, and use them. It’s not rocket science. No calculus or other advanced mathematics is required. You just need to be ready to write when you think of something worth writing.
Somehow, however, when I was out there in the back yard, I was not carrying a pen or a notepad. And mere hours later, having supposedly learned my lesson, I was out there in the front yard without my pen or notepad.
These are not the first two times I have learned this lesson. Time and again, I have lost a thought because I couldn’t write it down right away
I know, I just know, that the next time I invoke the Muse, she will laugh a very non-Musical bellylaugh and, once she catches her breath, she will sputter, “You have got to be fricking kidding me.”
Years from now, if I’m lucky, in the dead of night, the Muse may whisper one or both of those thoughts in my ear again. If she does, and I am not carrying something to write with, I will deserve whatever fate befalls me next.