If something comes to me in the middle of the night, either just as I’m falling asleep or a thought that actually wakes me, I will usually get up out of bed with the intention of writing it down. It could be a sentence or a mere thought or it could be the spark that cause me to spend the next several hours laying in bed writing furiously into loose leaf notebook paper until I pass out again from exhaustion. The few times that I don’t get up and do this are the times I’m too freaking tired to move. In these times, I usually console myself with the thoughts that if it’s that good, I’ll remember it in the morning.
This never happens. By morning light I’ve completely forgotten that I had a thought to begin with, much less what that thought was. This is the eternal struggle I must face; trying to be a writer with memory problems. If I give into my laziness and ignore what I should be working on for a few days I end up forgetting where ever the hell it was I left off or exactly what I was intending to do with the story. These few days stretch into a frustrating few weeks and I’m left, several months down the road, having to restart my work entirely from the beginning just so I can start where I’d left off.
There are a few rare times, however, that it’s later in the day when the thought suddenly springs into my head that there was something I’d wanted to remember. Actually, no… let me rephrase that. The thought I have that I should be remembering something comes up a lot. A LOT. It’s rare that I’ll figure it out. Last night I had a thought; the potential beginning of a whole chapter in one sentence. I did not get up to write it down as I had just gotten in bed and it was already nearing two in the morning. But it’s now 1:30 the next afternoon and I’ve just remembered what it was.
And it’s pretty good, in my opinion, so I am pleased.
But the thought of how much I’ve missed because of all I can’t remember is daunting. Not nearly as much as the knowledge that I’ve screwed myself completely over the last several years with how much I tend to avoid writing (it’s not that I don’t love it. I do. I live for it. I’m scared to death of actually finishing the damn thing and then having to let people read it). The insanity of this thought going hand in hand with the dream of being published makes me feel like I should be locked away or tested for some sort of imbalance.
I tried, a few times actually, to put a notebook beside the bed for my mid-sleep thoughts. I kept losing it and failed. So I’ve begun texting my friend Koamie who will always remind me later. She started a writing group that I’ve joined and she’s fantastic at not only being my memory but also being HONEST. A hard quality to find in anyone.
I also decided last night that I’ve been a dumbass lately… purely in relation to myself. If I want to be a published author, I need to write. If I submit something and it’s rejected, then I need to write some more. Having someone not like what I write is not the end of the world. I need to accept this.
The thick skin that covers the rest of my life needs to be extended over this part as well.
Or I’ll never make it.
This is my first blog post, as you can see, in the blog I’ve dedicated to being ONLY about my writing and the journey I’ve taken trying to finish this damn novel.