Saturday, October 17, 2009

Never Mix Sheep and Mental Notes

Don't you just hate it when you're itching to write something and its just. not. coming. to. you.? I find it quite despicable. What's more sickening is how often it happens to me.

The bigger problem is, however, when all the inspired ideas and topics gracefully arrive in the middle of my nightly ritual of counting sheep. All day I rack my brains out trying to tame the words and compose the structure with no sucess, and then I actually get a decent idea with the right formulation of words in the middle of the night?! Outrageous!

All the same, I try to get around that problem through the masterful utilization of what is generally knows as "mental notes". See, I always had the strong belief that mental notes are better and more comfortable than real tangible ones; you do not have to go through the hassle of finding a piece of paper and a good pen that actually works in the middle of the night, nor keep looking for that piece of paper the next morning for at least an hour before you give up and eventually find it a month later in the middle of a stack of rubbish you were about to throw out. Mental notes are simply easier and better: you just tell your mind to remember it and there you go, the thought/idea is safe and sound.
I absolutely completely believe in them... I even test myself every once in a while to prove it.

I focus real hard on a specific moment so that next day when I try to remember what it was I was thinking about, I can easily trace it back from that sole moment I focused on. After many self-tests and trials, there appeared to be one hiccup in the "mental note" plan: 8 times out of 10 it doesn't work.
That does not mean however that I ever learnt the lesson.

So last night when I was hit  by a wave of inspiration as I watched the pretty sheep jump the fence, I decided to make a small mental note to remember whatever genius idea occured to me and to not to forget to put it down on my green book's slightly yellowed paper the next morning. But of course to no avail. I woke up with a vague recollection of an idea and of my constructing a mental note. What the note said however had completely vanished from my memory.

Allow me to illustrate:

1 sheep. 2 sheep. 3 sheep. I hate not having good ideas. 4 sheep. 5 sheep. 6 sheep. 7 sheep. They're pretty jumping that fence, thank God they don't lock sheep up in zoos. 8 sheep. 9 sheep. 10 sheep. 11 sheep. I can't find anything to write about. 12 sheep. 13 sheep. Ouh animal abuse is a good idea. 14 sheep. 15 sheep. Or maybe how some people like to use overcomplicated words with no real point or substance. 16 sheep. 17 sheep. That's a good idea I should remember that when morning comes. I won't forget. 18 sheep. 19 sheep. 20....

*Poof* the idea is lost for good.

Hmph. That darned sheep ran away with it.


  1. I thought I was the only one!! Ideas seem to like to visit as I am about to fall asleep. So, I make a mental note and lose them forever! STUPID!!

  2. ooooh... I know what you are talking about! I spend the entire day doing creative work but I still get really good ideas at night. If it's writing I usually do get up and start to scribble everything down but sometimes if it's just one really good sentence I think that I will definitely remember it. NOPE.

    It is no coincidence that a big part of my job is to create unique, creative notebooks. I just need to become even better at laying them out all around my house and in each one of my purses as well......

  3. I don't believe in mental notes! They're so easy to manipulate like memories, you know. How about whenever you have an idea just jump out of the bed and write it. Used to do that a while ago before ideas ran dry even before sleep!

  4. This was such an amazing post. I love making mental notes! :)

  5. try kangaroos the next time. Write down the mental note on a piece of paper in your head and put it in one of the kangaroos' pockets. Remember the number of that kangaroo. Voila! :D
    Let me know if it works

  6. i see you are in quite a spit of bother as far as making notes are concerned.
    you see. i have been able to devise a full proof and absolute solution to the problem .
    its quite simple.and it pretty much takes the same amount of mental effort you'd use to make the mental note in the first place . but you dont loose ur data.
    here is what i do.-> the moment you get an idea, just turn the system on and get jotting away, post it. and then goto sleep.

    And this way you will sleep better . since you'd be at peace.

    good day ,:P