Last night as I was laying in bed, drifting off to sleep, I was struck with inspiration. I had a fabulous idea for a story. I started writing paragraphs and planning chapters in my head, when a little corner of my brain piped up to say “Shouldn’t you write this down?”
A glance at my dozing husband, and the realisation that I really did not want to get out of bed helped me answer that question. “I’m sure I’ll remember it in the morning,” I reassured the corner of my brain, “After all, how can I forget something this brilliant?”
It was when I was walking back from class this evening that I suddenly remembered this conversation, but not a thing about the story that inspired it. I stopped dead and swore aloud. It’s okay; there was nobody around to witness my apparent loss of sanity.
Thankfully this story had a happy ending; the same diffuse mode thinking that had prompted the flash of genius in the first place helped me remember it whilst I was waiting at the bus stop and berating my idiocy.
I made sure to write it down that time. I’d like to say I did it immediately, but there was a moment of hesitation in which I started to convince myself that surely I couldn’t forget it twice. Of course I then proceeded to slap myself silly (not literally, I’m not that crazy…) and wrote it down like a good girl.
I may have lost the brilliant plans that were forming in my head to wherever it is that hard-to-retrieve memories go, but at least I remember the basics of the story. I can rebuild it, given the chance. It may even end up better than what had half formed in my tired mind.
The moral of this cautionary tale then… Well, actually there are two.
Firstly, keep a notebook and pen by your bed. Or your phone, with a notebook app. Something that gives you the ability to write those profound thoughts and ideas down before they get swallowed by the night.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t trust your brain when it tells you it will remember that important thing. It lies. It always lies.
PS, if you want to read about me talking about my love of writing for the bazillionth time, or you just always wondered what the Finnish language looks like, click here to go to my Finnish language blog.