The problem with conceptual writing
Actually, my current problem is that the title of this blog doesn’t feel quite right. I started to put the title as something like “On Writing” (nope, Stephen King book), “The Problem With Writing” (nope, ’cause I’m not talking about actual writing), to something like “not-writing” or “pre-writing” to what I have now.
I’m specifically talking about the problem with thinking while showering, or driving, or simply being away from being able to safely write down a concept that I then proceed to draft in my head, believing every time that I will surely remember this later. When I’m at a computer. When I have time to actually flesh it out and write up a blog.
I’m pretty sure it happens a few times a day, to be honest. The last one today was while I was walking back from the mail box. We actually had mail. I was thinking about how ridiculously exhausted I suddenly was, and yet this was an awesome idea. I’d like to say if I’d had my phone on me I would have opened one of many apps and jotted myself a quick note, but honestly I probably wouldn’t have. I don’t usually. By the time I got back to the house and tidied up a few things before giving in to a nap, the idea of a blog had completely slipped my head.
There’s an author I like who has a good web presence, John Scalzi. He wrote a book (which became a series) called Old Man’s War. In it, there are computers implanted in human’s brains that they learn how to access, draft quick notes to each other, retain “photos” that are snapshots of things they’ve seen, and so on. I have to admit that one of the things I most like about that computer is the idea of getting ideas directly into a file to later access via terminal and clean up with my fingers. I think I’d still want to actually write, you see. Maybe even with a pen, although at that stage, maybe not a pen. But the idea of cleaning up by hand and writing additional new items into a document definitely appeals to me. And maybe, just maybe, I would stop forgetting my ideas of things to blog about.
On that same topic, I also just recently downloaded the new Scrivener for iOS (specifically my iPad). I still need to set it up, but it promises that it will sync with the desktop version, which excites me. The iPad and keyboard I have are not a perfect set up, but they’re much lighter and very easy to work with the few times I’ve carried them around. It helps that this particular iPad has data access, and not just wifi. So far, it’s been most convenient when traveling, as a very mini laptop alternative. So in this case, it will be the same idea but even for daily work travel.
I think about writing a lot, you see. And I read a decent amount. I’m hesitant to say a lot, because I don’t read nearly the content that I have in the past. On the other hand, on a recent trip I started (and finished) a 500+ page novel. To me, it didn’t seem huge. Yes, that’s on the large side for this author, but it’s certainly not the largest book I’ve carried around with me to read. (And it was an actual book in this case, although I had access to a variety of Kindle and iBook ebooks on my iPad and phone, of course.) And yet, there was amazement in the eyes of at least two of my fellow travelers and a raised eyebrow or two. At the time they were asking about it, I was roughly 400 pages in. I suspect they were also reacting to seeing me read when I hadn’t read in front of them for the majority of the trip. I think perhaps two people beside by husband even realized I’d brought a book for down times.
Like most people who aren’t published authors in one way or another, I think I’m not really a writer. Sure, I blog. Sure, I love words. Sure, I read a lot and own more books than some people believe are necessary. (Which I frankly don’t understand. What’s necessary got to do with anything? I enjoy books and the ones I keep have stories I’m willing to read repeatedly. My brain and mental health are happier to have those stories, so I suppose I could argue they’re necessary for me but still. Why worry about if something is necessary?) But I still doubt that I’ve any sort of right to claim the descriptor of writer.
I’ve never managed 50,000 words in November. I might have a chance of completing this year’s CampNaNo this month, but the April event I failed. I’m hard on myself and even knowing that, I am still harder and meaner to myself than I would be to any of my friends.
So knowing I’ve had at least two or three solid blog themes I’ve forgotten this week alone is extremely frustrating. The idea that tech is slowly advancing toward a goal that I’ve only read about in a science fiction novel written more than 10 years ago (and Asimov and others have alluded to, although I don’t remember as crisply, decades ago), is very exciting.
I just hope I can learn to take advantage of it!