I’m not a note taker. Nor am I a retainer. However, I carry a paper brain with me to meetings, jot things down, order them, number them, draw lines (with a ruler) through completed (or wishful thinking-completed) items, and look with jealousy at people who have advanced degrees in note taking.
Do Type A folks take notes? Or are note takers Type C? I’m a Type A type. Of course, it could be the coffee. Truthfully, I don’t need coffee; my “normal” is abuzz with energy. I have hiked ten miles of the AT, then wanted to do it again because I hiked so fast I forgot to smell the pine needles. I’ve walked through shopping malls at the double and then felt surprise when I reach the last store.
There must be a term for it. Psychologistmimi will know (don’t tell me)!
Which brings me to my point….
3×5 cards saved me.
Seriously, I dislike taking notes and posting post-its so much that I have let millions, okay, dozens…sigh, a few
brilliant ideas for my novel go to waste because I told myself I would remember to write them into the story. I hate forgetting what I promised to remember.
That all changed a month or so ago. I don’t know why. Epiphany? Serendipity? Dumb luck? A really good forehead smack?
Whatever the cause, I bought a box of 3×5 cards at the drugstore and began writing notes on them. One idea or note per card. I put the name of the character to whom the note applied in the upper left-hand corner. I wrote the note below that. Further down, I added the page or chapter (the paragraph too, if applicable). I ordered the cards according to placement within the novel. I check them off as I complete them.
Brilliant! I could sell the idea and become rich!
Before each writing session, I review the cards to refresh my memory. It’s made a difference. Revising passages is faster and thorough. My novel is better for the details I’ve added – or removed. I pay more attention to structure. I no longer knock myself out with really hard forehead smacks.
Writing down ideas made me slooooow doooown and practice patience. I concentrate on my writing. Hurrying, or rushing through my writing caused problems since I had more to edit and correct later. Now, I find myself thinking that the more patient I am, the better the end product will turn out. I want to submit a polished novel to the agents on my list, not a coffee-stained manuscript that looks like I wrote it while camping in a pup tent in a rainstorm on the summit of Old Speck.
Note to self: buy a new tent – one that doesn’t leak!