A while back I managed to lose one of my notepads. It was the one which I’d carry around with me so that if I were to get some kind of idea whilst travelling about I could just quickly make a maddeningly rapid frisk search of myself in the middle of a busy town street – some people would be worried about the mach 4 macarena in front of them – and get it written down before I’d forget about it.
I used to think that I couldn’t forget those good ideas that were going to stick with me. Honestly, how would I know if I’ve forgotten them or not? The only confirmation that you’ve actually forgotten something is the sudden recollection of it or the embarrassing reminder that comes from another party.
I was fortunate enough to recently be handed back my notepad. I thought I’d lost it. After some searching in the most obvious places I resigned myself to the fact that it was lost, along with the ideas I’d regurgitated into the pages. I bought a new notepad, the same type but in blue, and it was doing a lovely job until someone at work asked me if this one particular notepad is mine.
The little bastard had returned.
I have no idea where nor how I’d lost it, but it probably fell out from my pocket or it was left at one of the desks at work. There’s an irony in the latter: I wrote my work schedule in there too.
To return to the idea of forgetting ideas before I forget about the topic of forgetting ideas, I ended up reading through what I’d written in my prodigal notepad. Brontide stuff was plastered across the pages. A lot of it was stuff that I’ve had on my mind for some time. Some of that was refined to the point of concept-cum-scene layouts, but one was a conversation that I’ve had problems with for the last few weeks.
I’d completely forgotten about that dialogue.
Now that I have it again I can compile these notes into the master Brontide notepad (don’t ask how many pads I’ve got) and when I get back into writing that scene I can finally add that bit.
My point is that if you think you’re not going to forget about something, you’re wrong. Remember that thing you forgot about last year? Of course you don’t – you’ve forgotten it. How would you know if you’ve forgotten about it if you don’t remember it?
That’s why I carry these bloody notepads around.
PS. Please don’t have an existential crisis.
PSS. Carry a pen or two too. You don’t want to scramble all hands to find your paper only to find that you’ve left all pens at home.