Home > Random Musings, Writing, Writing Advice > A Classic Blunder, Strange Habits, and the Quirks of Inspiration

A Classic Blunder, Strange Habits, and the Quirks of Inspiration


My to-do list is getting out of hand. So is my to-be-read list (should that be hyphenated? Oh, well. It is). I have a mountain of things I should be doing. I am not doing them. I am blogging, which will turn into writing. I’d really like to watch Castle, instead, but that is not the mark of a genius.

Yesterday, I had a great idea for a blog – and I forgot to write it down. I committed one of the classic blunders: I swore I’d remember. That never works. Ever. If it was an idea for a short story, novel, or poem, I would’ve written it down. Even if I had to use a permanent marker and write it on my own arm.

Because I’m that hardcore crazy. I suppose that reflects my own personal hierarchy of writing importance, but I’m kind of ticked that I lost that idea to the shores of the Lethe.

My desk looks vaguely like it’s been attacked my a tornado of assorted things. The dishes are waiting for me, and I think they are beginning to grow cognizant. (Stephen King – you hear that? It’s the sound of the shrieking dishes. That could make a great horror story. I promise.)

Last night, I was in the shower trying to remember what it’s like to feel warm. I used to laugh at winter. I used to run around without my coat on in the SNOW. Now, Winter (the bitch) is getting her revenge, and even on the semi-warm days, I’m wearing gloves indoors and whining that I cannot keep my toes warm. Mother Nature, this round goes to you.

So, anyway. In the shower, I had an idea for a book. It’s an idea I’ve been trying to write for years, but I haven’t been able to get it right. In fact, my whole first book (which has been relegated to the Isle of Misfit Novels aka The Attic, where the dolls live) was an exercise in me trying to tell this tale. But I got it wrong, and I wrote the whole thing anyway. Why? Well, that’s complicated. I needed to write it. I needed to write it wrong, too. Because it taught me a lot.

As I was trying, desperately, to wash the shampoo out of my hair (who has time for conditioner? I have begun using the leave-in stuff)…I started plotting. I need to do more of it, and I will. But I had the situation. And the beginnings of a Voice for this book. This was not something I was looking to write now. (I’ve begun a fairy novel, which may or may not be the death of me.) And I might NOT write it anytime in the near future. But this is an idea I wrote down, because I didn’t want to lose it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t be the only one who hops out of the shower, with shampoo still in her hair, in order to scribble down something that won’t make any sense to anyone else. “Moments. Life. Misha? Russian? Some kind of foreign. Change you life. Mistakes.” But it makes sense to me.

I also can’t be the only person who has run out of places to store her books, but won’t part with them, so they are 1) under the bed 2) on various book shelves 3) on top of the dresser 4) in the attic 5) in the closet (next to the shoes).

What are some of your more quirky habits? Do you write longhand? Do you carry around mini-post its? Jot down notes in Pig Latin?

  1. November 9, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I got a little sketchbook from a doing a survey that I write down my ideas in, most of the time. I try to keep it with me because it keeps everything in one place, and I have a tendency to loose the small pieces of paper, left over receipts with ideas on them. I also forget when I write something in my planner book and once the day has passed I rarely look back.

    • Ali
      November 9, 2010 at 9:43 am

      That is excellent! I am totally with you on losing bits of paper. I try to keep a folder, now, where I can tuck them into. I tend to write on whatever is around, and I have an entire poem written on the strangest things.

  2. Jessica
    November 9, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Um, I just pulled up Castle on Hulu instead of doing anything useful, so… I give you permission to do the same! Haha.

    I you are not the only person who has run out of places to store her books. I have boxes upon boxes of them in my parents’ basement. Which is a really inconvenient system because it’s annoying to rummage through when I need one.

    I also occasionally jot down ideas for poems, or stories. If I ever get a really good line for a poem, I will write it down somewhere and hope that the rest of it comes to me.

    • Ali
      November 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

      Sold! Actually, I put Castle on in the background, after I wrote this. I adore that show. And Nathan Fillion. *grin*

      I totally hear you on the inconvenient storage system. I never go through the boxes in the attic. I cannot wait to have a library someday, where I can free them. A girl can dream, damn it!

      • Jessica
        November 10, 2010 at 9:28 am

        I would love a library, and then I could alphabetize things, and separate them by genre, and do all sorts of wonderful things.

        I’m actually kind of sad that the Dewey Decimal System is basically a lost art form. *GEEK*


      • Ali
        November 10, 2010 at 10:50 am

        I would love to be able to display all the books in their proper order. I’m not the most organized person, but I would organize the books. Priorities! *grin* Nathan Fillion is so freakin’ wonderful.

  3. Andrea
    November 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    You absolutely are not alone sister. I love it when ideas take shape and take over my mind, although sometimes it’s frustrating to get consumed with one idea when you’re trying so desperately to finish the previous one. As for the too many books thing, I propose you pull a Rory and just stash them in your dresser drawers.

    • Ali
      November 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

      I already have a drawer with extension cords in it! I need to put my clothing somewhere. Unless I pull a Joey and try to wear them all at once. *grin*

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