A few nights ago, I was about to fall asleep when an idea hit me. It was an awesome idea for a post that might have worked out great since I’m running out of things to talk about while I finish the never-ending LOTR debacle. I resolved to type out a draft of the post the next day.
Yeah, only here’s the thing: the next morning, I had forgotten what it was.
This has happened before. I”ll be nice and cozy in bed (of course, it isn’t always in bed- it can be other places too) when WHAM! An idea for a blog post or a plot point or what-have-you will hit me like a cannonball to the creativity. And unless I write it down somewhere right that very instant, I’ll forget all about it the next day. I guess it’s something about having it physically down somewhere that helps me remember. This is why I use the Notes app on my iPod touch so often, and I usually have said iPod lying on my nightstand.
Only this time it wasn’t there. And what was I going to do, get up and walk somewhere to find it? Or write down the idea on paper? “No!” declared my dominant lazy side. “This will not stand! I believe in my ability to retain information on my own!”
And thus, the downfall of a perfectly good post idea occurred due to my lazy side’s overconfidence in my hippocampus.*
It becomes a vicious cycle: every time this happens, I resolve not to let it happen again. And the next few times I get a good idea, I succeed in putting it down somewhere before I forget it. But then the ONE NIGHT I don’t have my handy-dandy notebook (or what-have-you) with me, the wrath of the plot bunnies takes advantage of my vulnerability and descends. And once it does, because I instantly forget how bad this is for me, I think, “Great! What a splendid thought! There’s NO WAY I’ll forget a thought this awesome! I’ll be sure to write it down in the morning!” And then the bunnies continue on their merry way…right out of short-term memory without even bothering to convert to long-term (or whatever term is needed for recall in eight hours or so).
This, readers, does not bode well for my writing career. What if I get a really good plot bunny and don’t record it? I must keep something with me at all times for just such a purpose.
Unfortunately, Google chooses not to cooperate today, but I know that I heard somewhere that the brain becomes most creative when it is drowsy and about to fall asleep. Maybe it’s something about the quiet of one’s bed. I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s FRUSTRATING when my neurons suddenly spark off one of these brain waves.
I suppose this is a part of life, and, like many parts of life, a learning experience. And I have learned my lesson now: always write it down before you forget it.
You could argue that this post doesn’t really have much to do with writing or reading, but I think it’s a decent subject to talk about. After all, many of my ideas come from unexpected plot bunnies such as these. It’s important that we writers are prepared when they strike, and strike they will. Hopefully we can actually get something decent out of these tiny ideas.
*That would be the part of the brain where memory is stored.