View Full Version : Obsessed Writer

09-17-2006, 07:54 AM
So today, at the barbecue, I felt this wild desire to write. I just HAD to write. But, alas, there were no pens, pencils or paper available anywhere in the bbq. So I grabbed a foam plate, a knife, and started writing by etching the letters into the plate.

Please, tell me I'm not the only one.

09-17-2006, 07:56 AM
DAma, I always carry a pen and notepad in my purse, and a notebook and pen in the car. I never know when the urge will strike.

Serena Casey
09-17-2006, 07:56 AM
At least you didn't have to resort to writing in ketchup on your burger.

09-17-2006, 07:58 AM
I'm with Trish - I never go anywhere without a pen. I have been known to write over date books, on the back of placemats, anywhere... Ive also been known to pull into Mc Donalds and order coffee so I dont get killed trying to drive and write. Never leave home without pens and paper!!

09-17-2006, 08:00 AM
I've written poetry in commuter traffic before, Persi. Stop and go...when we stop, I write, when we go I drive. Kills the commute time. :)

09-17-2006, 08:02 AM
God I've done that too! Horrible isnt it? Ive often considered a tape recorder. Anyone ever try that in the car?

09-17-2006, 08:04 AM
i considered it, well, not really, but a "concerned friend" suggested it. (ha! That'll teach her to ride in the car with me.)

09-17-2006, 08:05 AM
I met a friend for a beer one day after work and needed to write something before I lost it. Sat at the bar and wrote notes for a story on a cocktail napkin...ok...5 cocktail napkins.
Some people put phone numbers on them, I put story notes.

09-17-2006, 08:05 AM
Ive often considered a tape recorder. Anyone ever try that in the car?

I tried a tape recorder, but it didn't work out. I have this fear of public speaking.

09-17-2006, 08:06 AM
You're not. Once, I was in church, staring at the ceiling, when the strongest urge of "write or die" came over me. So, I etched it into the chair with my ring. needless to say, I was banned from the church, but I got to satify my urge. :D

09-17-2006, 08:07 AM
ooh, another one. I've left myself messages on my cellphone voicemail so I wouldn't forget something. Those are great. lol

09-17-2006, 08:09 AM
Ha, I email myself all the time. If I had 100 emails, half of them would be from me.

09-17-2006, 08:12 AM
Hmmm, I'd try that voicemail stuff if it weren't for the expensive phone bills. Will consider investing in a tape recorder.

09-17-2006, 08:17 AM
God I've done that too! Horrible isnt it? Ive often considered a tape recorder. Anyone ever try that in the car?

I use a tape recorder in the car, beats trying to go 65 down the highway trying to write or move to the side of the road and by the time you get there you've forgotten that flash of an idea!

I keep it in my purse, along with a bound journal and pens.

09-17-2006, 10:03 AM
I believe that there are microcassette tape-based dictation recorders still available on the market, about 6" x 1" x 4" or roughly these dimensions. These are mechanical devices, with quite a number of moving parts, and have available at extra cost a foot pedal-operated transcription machine.

Alternatively, you can purchase a digital recorder. These are much smaller, and much more convenient to take with you anywhere you go. They have no mechanical parts (as I understand it), and produce a sound file which you can easily play back on your PC, as well as be sent over the Internet. I do not know about the quality of the result. They are a consumer item, so are priced accordingly.

I think that this has been discussed elsewhere in AW as well, IIRC.

ETA: some links to these previous discussions on digital recorders -


http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.AbsoluteWrite.com%3B+www.Absolu teClasses.com&q=digital+recorders&sa=Search&sitesearch=www.AbsoluteWrite.com&client=pub-8031992532416418&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3B VLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3 AFFFFFF%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000% 3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BLH%3A40%3BLW%3A1 00%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.absoluteclasses.com%2F_b orders%2FAWULogo_copy.jpg%3BS%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.a bsoluteclasses.com%3BFORID%3A1%3B&hl=en

and some on tape recorders -


http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&newwindow=1&safe=off&client=pub-8031992532416418&cof=FORID%3A1%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.absoluteclass es.com%2F_borders%2FAWULogo_copy.jpg%3BLH%3A40%3BL W%3A100%3BGL%3A1%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BT%3A%23000000%3B LC%3A%230000ff%3BVLC%3A%23663399%3BALC%3A%230000ff %3BGALT%3A%23008000%3BGFNT%3A%230000ff%3BGIMP%3A%2 30000ff%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3BLBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BAH%3Ac enter%3BS%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.absoluteclasses.com%3 B&domains=www.AbsoluteWrite.com%3B+www.AbsoluteClass es.com&q=tape+recorders&btnG=Search&sitesearch=www.AbsoluteWrite.com

09-17-2006, 10:10 AM
I write in my head.

09-17-2006, 02:57 PM
I always carry a pen. I can normally use receipts or something if I'm really stuck.

But the urge has never hit me that hard. :(

09-17-2006, 05:00 PM
I've written on everything from scraps of paper, napkins, placemats and my hand. Now I carry a small notepad in my purse and am never without a pen. And, yes, I also have a habit of jotting notes down while I'm driving. Unfortunately, I don't live where we have traffic so I write them down while driving down the road at 60, oh okay, 70 mph.

09-17-2006, 06:49 PM
I write in my head.
Ditto. My view is, if I forget a neat idea I have while I'm out in public, it obviously wasn't that neat to begin with. If it can't survive the trip home, it doesn't deserve being put on paper.

09-17-2006, 07:17 PM
That's all well and good, if you trust your memory. I don't. I forget things if they aren't either repeated over and over in my head or written down. And not just story ideas, other important things like: paying bills or stopping at the grocery store because the cats have no food.

Therefore, I have paper and pens everywhere. My car, my purse, my workplace, my nightstand... everywhere.

09-17-2006, 07:50 PM
Ditto. My view is, if I forget a neat idea I have while I'm out in public, it obviously wasn't that neat to begin with. If it can't survive the trip home, it doesn't deserve being put on paper.
That's 'cause you've got a great memory. Me, sometimes I've forgotten my own name (and it's true). I forget my age, my adress, my phone number, what day it is, what time, what I was about to do, what am I doing, etc. etc. etc. So no, I can't trust my memory.

09-18-2006, 01:38 AM
No. My memory is horrible. I don't even remember what I had for lunch today. I forget things moments after someone tells me something unless I take notes or repeat it. If we're at the store, my wife will say, "I'll be over in such-and-such department" and unless I repeat it to her back, in about 2 minutes I'll wonder, where the hell did she say she was going?

So the same is with stories and ideas. However, I've always treated them with disdain. If they want to be written down then they better make a commotion in my head. Keep trying to get my attention. It's the stories that have bothered me for several days, that don't give up, won't go away, that I feel are worthy of being written down and at least given a chance at life.

The others wither and die on the vine as it were if they can't keep my attention longer than my wife telling me something.

In other words, if it's an idea worthy of writing, it'll be back again. If it doesn't come back, it wasn't important.

09-18-2006, 02:45 AM
I'm well past the "got to write it down now" rush. I learned from years of writing poetry, that it's best not to rush an idea to the page. I let it stew for days sometimes.

With respect to fiction, strong ideas stay with me. Weak ones fade before I can get to the computer.

I will say that once I'm on a roll, I am reluctant to walk away and I've been known to stay up well-past my bedtime to finish something important to me.

09-18-2006, 02:55 AM
Perhaps I need some kinda recorder or something. I have these great ideas, and they always fade before I get them somewhere safe.

09-18-2006, 03:14 AM
If they want to be written down then they better make a commotion in my head.

That's the problem. Some ideas make quite a commotion, I analize every aspect of them and change them until I'm satisfied with them, but as soon as another through crosses my mind they vanish! They will return, oh yes, but on the next moment when I cannot write.

09-18-2006, 05:14 AM
I just found one of my old pairs of pants. You can't even tell what shade of blue the denim originally was, it's so covered in scribbled story ideas. Mmm, sweet nostalgia....

09-18-2006, 07:19 AM
I've tried that microcassette player thing. I discovered a few things.

1) I hate my own voice.
2) Whatever synapses connect my writing ability to my typing ability aren't the same synapses that connect to my speaking ability. In other words, I can't verbalize my thoughts in the same smooth, wonderful cohesive way I can type them.
3) Before the days of cell phones I felt really conspicuous and self-conscience talking to myself.

09-18-2006, 07:21 AM
Its the way of things, in my experience, that turning on a dictaphone turns off the creative part of the brain.

09-18-2006, 08:00 AM
I understand that many non-fiction and fiction writers use microcassette or digital recorders. Once over the initial discomfort of hearing their own voice, users very readily take to them.