Today the well is dry, dear reader. Do you ever feel like technology is a pathetic fallacy? My trusty bluetooth keyboard has given up the ghost as well, as if mirroring my mood. So I am typing this out on my tablet, like a hormonal teenager in the midst of a heated texting argument. This morning, when I woke up, I had tons of ideas on what to write to you today, but now, 8 hours later, they have vanished in a haze of ….well, they have just vanished. Every piece of writing advice starts with, or includes the maxim: keep a notebook with you. You never when the idea may strike! Needless to say, I haven’t followed this guidance. As I sat down to write, in a panic, these were some of the flustered thoughts that came to mind:
What if chairs ruled the world?
What if chairs hadn’t been invented?
What if we visited a planet where there were aliens who had once visited earth and decided that chairs were the scion of our existence and taken back the idea of chairs to their own planet and decided to worship them?
These spring from the mind of a woman on the verge of futility, and possibly in need of a good sit down. You may be relieved to see that, even in my weakened position, I haven’t decided to ‘run’ with any of these.
But o, what were my ideas from this morning? I won’t dwell on this, but rather offer some tips on how to remember key morning thoughts if you are as disorganised as me. Remember these do not come from one in the lofty position of ‘functioning writer’, but will hopefully act as an aide memoire to me, too.
Firstly, get a dictaphone. With headsets and bluetooth and what not, you won’ t look any more insane than the rest of the morning commuters who are talking to themselves. You could even bring a sense of urgency to your recordings if you pretend to be Agent Cooper!
Secondly, text it to yourself in note form. These make for remarkable reading later that day as you try and decipher what the hell you were talking about at 6.30 am. Be careful not to send these to family members. A message which reads: ‘chairs rule earth?’ Is likely to cause some consternation regarding your mental health to an ageing parent.
Thirdly, whisper your idea to a fellow commuter, one who you know always gets the same train home as you. A human dictaphone! They can remind you later and I’m sure, if they are anything like my band of passengers on the red eye, they will be thankful to contribute to the wondrous process of creation that you are weaving.
Naturally, any and all of the above may get you arrested in one way or another, but remember: writing is sacrifice! Maybe this was why Dostoevsky got banged up! All of the above make me realise something else about writing. There is a safety in locking down the words on a page that it isn’t offered by saying them aloud. I wonder how many of us would feel comfortable writing what we do if blogs took an automatically spoken form? If they were communicated through speech? Would we write the same? Would we write at all?
And what if chairs ruled the world? I think I’m going to buy me a little notepad.