Frustrations from an absent-minded writer

For years I have been recording ideas with the intention of writing them down and possibly expanding upon them. I finally began doing this last month as my phone, where some of the recordings were housed, showed signs of dying. Less than a week after deleting the last recording, it died. I praised God for setting a fire under my butt (a.k.a. procrastinating from working on other writing projects).

A short time later, I was at a meeting where we discussed publishing an anthology. I have never participated in an anthology because I find it difficult to limit myself to 7500 words/15 pages. However, this group is small and it will take every member’s participation to create a reasonable size collection. A suggestion was made that it be holiday themed and an idea came to mind. One of the stories I had just taken off the recordings would work as a Halloween story. Perfect! Now I just had to keep myself from getting too wordy.

Here’s where the frustration enters. I went searching for the story. First, I checked the stories I had typed up. If I was lucky, it was among the ones already on the computer and I would have a head start. Not there. Darn. Okay, well then it must be in a notebook. Now, here comes the problem. I have a tendency to write in whatever notebook is handy. There was a time I was really good and put specific ideas in specific notebooks. Those days faded away a while ago. So I grab the most resent notebook and begin looking. Not there. Well then, it must be in the one that I sometimes have with me. Nope.

At this point, I have no other notebooks with me, but really want to begin working on this project. I know where the story that I had already written began and decide that it needs some back story. So I spend the afternoon writing and get to the point where I now need to find my notes. No sense rewriting what you’ve already written unless you’re editing it, right?

Now I’m beginning to feel a bit panicked. I gather every notebook I can find, including one that has been full for several months, and carry them with me to work. Nothing in the first one. Pulse rate increases. Go back to look at the ones I had already checked. Nope, still not there. Begin to tap fingers. Opened notebook that is completely full, knowing deep in my heart that it isn’t there, and find that I was right.

What to do now? Write it again obviously. Or procrastinate. Since I feel compelled to pick up the same four or five notebooks over and over, I begin transferring some of the stories to the computer. Now I want to continue those ideas. Focus! Still can’t find it. (Of course that was obvious since I haven’t really looked anywhere new as I have no idea where else it could be.)

Finally, I sit down, suck it up, and just write it all over again. Ended at 7471 words, 16 pages. Pretty pleased with the outcome. Well, I hit one of the goals. Now, I’m counting the days until I find the original.


P.S. Waking this morning with a clear mind, I began to realize that much of what I had written in the original may not have worked as well. Had I simply cut and paste the original, it may not have flowed as it should. It’s His finger in the small things that amazes me. Thank you again, God, for keeping me from falling over myself.

Published by Bronwen Chisholm

I write Regency Era Romance, specifically Pride and Prejudice alternatives, and Women's Fiction. I am married to a federal police officer and have 2 beautiful, gifted children.

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