I have notebooks everywhere. And loads of notes.
When I say everywhere, I mean car footwell, glove box, handbag, desk, rucksack, my other desk, bedside table, kitchen drawer etc. Even then, my dizzy disorganisation can mean I’m pulling into a lay-by and routing around for an old receipt and an eye-liner to write a quick thought down – little nuggets of inspiration urgently captured after my swirling thoughts reach a brief moment’s clarity. If I don’t capture them immediately, they often dissolve or blow away like whispers on a breeze.
Sometimes I come back to these notes and can’t remember what they mean.
Other times I’ve forgotten what I’ve already written. I come across things I have subsequently laboured to reproduce, recreate, reinvent.
I try to keep a ‘Day Book’ – noting everything of importance in chronological order. Then I hit something too personal and decide this should be in a journal instead.
The upshot is, I’m inconsistent because I write things down without deciding first what they’re for. In many ways this is a good thing for a perfectionist – I’m not censoring or filtering first. I grab what’s to hand, there are about 8 notebooks on the go, none of which has a theme nor any content that flows. There were also piles of post-its, receipts, torn off scraps of paper with captured ideas and emotions.
So recently I started chucking these pieces, my scrivenings, into the software, Scrivener so I don’t lose them. I do a nominal sorting of ‘book’ or ‘blog’ or ‘other’. I’m still trying to keep ‘journal’ in one favourite, handwritten, purple notebook. (So far, failing..)
In Scrivener I can work through them, colour coding themes or grouping them together to see what might come of them – paragraph or post.
I looked up the definition of scrivening. It has an onomatopoeic feel to it of scratchy nibs, manically forming script on small pieces of parchment. Here’s what the dictionaries say:
Scrivener enables all of these things for me. And this isn’t a ‘plug’. For a mind that is only sometimes linear in its approach, this software has all sorts of organisational benefits for someone who often thinks onto paper. You don’t need to think of yourself as a ‘writer’ either.
The beauty of Scrivener is the ease with which these nuggets can be moved around, grouped or combined together – Great for a scatterbrain. I can let my mind wander over them again from time to time, sometimes conjuring magic from whips of smoke..
I would love to know if anyone else is this chaotic.
Have you found a way to capture your thoughts?