I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself that very question, especially when I first started writing books. I’d have an idea, which often came when I was falling asleep, which I desperately wanted to put in the book that I was working on. The next morning, though, when I woke up, I couldn’t remember what I’d thought of to save my life.
There were also the times when I’d be riding my bicycle and would come up with yet another great idea that would tie everything together in the story. And you know what? Yep, by the time I got home my memory was completely wiped clean. I would sit down at the computer and try mightily to recall my thoughts. There were times that I could, but others … well I wasn’t so fortunate. So I started carrying a small tape recorder along with my cellphone in the pockets of my jersey, and would use the recorder as quickly as a thought came to me. The problem at night in bed remained, though, because I didn’t want to wake up my wife at 3:07 in the morning to speak into the tape recorder.
Soon, thereafter, cellphones started to include the ability to record, which eliminated the need to also carry a tape recorder. However, I still had to stop the bike, pull out the cellphone, press the record button, repeat my grand thought, and then put the cellphone back in the pocket before I could carry on with my ride.
Then, lo and behold, Siri arrived! The ultimate answer to all my problems, at least when I rode my bicycle. Now all I have to do is reach in my back pocket, pull out my smartphone and say, “Siri, note — blaw, blaw, blaw … whatever,” and Siri will record it as I continue riding. No stopping, no interruption, no looking for the record button, just speak to Siri and she will take care of my inspirational thoughts as they come to me. When I get home I can then type them into my story at my leisure, never fearing to ever forget another ingenious thought again. Hurray Siri!
As to the thoughts that come in the middle of the night … well, I now have a pad of paper at my bedside that I use to jot those thoughts down on. Now remember, these thoughts come to me at night, very, very late at night, when I’m asleep. They seem remarkable when I make the effort to write them down. However, when I wake up the next morning and read what I wrote, I often say, “Now what the heck does that mean?”
I’m telling you, our minds can play cruel games with us, especially in the dark of night.