“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.”
― Will Self
I meant to get up early – and didn’t really… but didn’t sleep too late. I ground some extra beans and made a thermos of coffee with my Aeropress. My portable Aeropress Go and hand grinder are on my desk at work – or I might have simply filled the thermos with hot water and made the stuff fresh – but the few minutes it sits in the steel vacuum vessel won’t hurt the taste much.
I packed up my loose-leaf binder notebook and selected four pens. Recently I bought some pen holders (brand name Diodrio) that fit on interchangeable stretchy Velcro straps – and they have been very useful to me. The straps come in several sizes so the pens can be attached to any notebook, from a small Moleskine to a big loose leaf. This is truly the best of all possible worlds.
I have been trying out the idea of morning pages from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Every day, I had write three pages in the notebook – about whatever comes to mind. She recommends never re-reading them, and even destroying the writing after each day. I don’t do that – there may be some useful ideas in there so I am keeping them… at least for a while.
The idea is to write in the morning, immediately upon rising. That doesn’t work for me – there are too many emergencies and interruptions starting as soon as I open my eyes. I have been able to finish the pages (one important aspect is to write the three sheets every day, without fail) daily, but sometimes haven’t finished them until late at night.
It’s actually easy for me to do the writing – I’ve been writing daily for at least three decades, after all – but I like the aspect of handwriting (it slows me down a bit – and gives me a chance to use my beloved fountain pens) and the idea of writing with no preconceptions.
One thing I also enjoy is writing in different places. So today I decided to pack up my bike with some coffee, my notebook, and ride to some place to get in the scribbling and caffeinate myself at the same time. It looked like some rain – so after about five miles of riding I settled in at a little pocket park with a roofed picnic area. Collins Park – at Alma and Collins – I have stopped there before – and have met other riders there for pre-work coffee. It’s nice, has a power outlet, a drinking fountain, and a bike rack (that I never use). I pulled in just in time, as the rain started coming down – not too bad – little more than a stout Texas sprinkle.
So I put my earbuds in, started a Spotify playlist on my phone, and wrote my morning pages.
Then I pulled out a folding Bluetooth keyboard and wrote this entry on my phone. It worked pretty well – a morning with a bicycle, coffee, fountain pens, and some extra blog writing. Yes, this is truly the best of all possible worlds.
I’m sort of glad I’m not the only one who’s had the experience of coming up with a good title or good idea, and then having it dissolve into the ether almost immediately. It’s quite a strange experience, really. I do try to write things down, but when I don’t there aren’t any guarantees.
Yeah, that’s a common feeling. The only thing worse is when you have a great idea, write it down, but look at it hours or days later and thing, “What the hell was I thinking?”
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