Call it an organized Virgo thing. Call it a writerly fixation or outright nerdiness. But I am, and always have been, a meticulous keeper of words.
It started innocently enough. As an overambitious pre-teen, I spent long days at the library, writing notes from important looking books because I was studying the things I already felt were missing in my education—Greek mythology, ancient geography, the history of the overlapping Biblical stories. I brought home manila folders filled with charts that compared the Greek/Roman pantheon and timelines that chronicled the rise and fall of ancient civilizations. I kept these notes for years. Possibly, they still live in a box somewhere.
|Just the kind of thing I copied down in my notes.|
I must have enjoyed looking over those notes. You can see that I remember them well enough, and the fact that I wanted to review them often must have taught my young brain the value of keeping my notes organized in a way I could reference.
In college, I was blown away by the college professor who told me I should be writing notes in my textbooks—an idea that horrified me at first. Yet when she pointed to her own college text books (that she still used for teaching) with all her own marginal notes on the poems we were discussing, I was curious to try. How cool would it be to have my notes transplanted on to the texts themselves so I could enjoy a deeper reading of a story anytime I wanted? I was quickly converted.
|No one said I was neat about these notes...Possibly I'm the only|
one who can decipher them.
These days, my notes are less scholarly and more generic. I keep track of the foods I serve at the parties I host and file them in my cookbook so I can see my past party plans for summer picnics and winter dinners. Usually, I use them as inspiration for upcoming events—pulling a recipe from one and adding something new. But if I’m in a rush, I can pull out old party notes (complete with shopping lists) and recreate it in a day. Voila!
Sometimes, this turns into a bit of a sickness. My computer crashed a few years ago and I still mourn the loss of notes I’ll never retrieve—pages of useful information taken from writing workshops or story ideas I started to develop for possible future books. I try to myself it’s not a big deal, yet every now and then, I do a search for an old file before I realize it was lost in the Great Crash of 2013.
Still, sickness or no, my obsession is a fun party trick I use to impress friends and wow colleagues. My writer cohorts are amazed when they’ve forgotten one of their own ideas and I can search up an old email (that part of my files didn’t crash—hooray for online storage!) from five years ago with a conversation we had about the idea. Recently, I dazzled a new group of associates from a volunteer organization when I was able to resurrect details from a two-year-old project. I admit, this makes me stand taller. A little pat on the back goes a long way with me.
|My Heartache, TN series required |
lots of note-taking!
Many people I’ve met, young and old, have a strong response to writing-- love it or hate it. Me, I can’t get enough of it. It’s a wonderful tool for my day to day life in addition to the creative ways I use it for storytelling. And don’t get me started on letter writing, or we’ll be here all day. What about you? Do you enjoy keeping personal accounts and records? Making notes to remember important things in your life, like which plants you planted when/where in your garden? Share with me today how you use writing (or if you are completely averse to it!) and I’ll give one random poster their choice of books from my 20115-2016 backlist, including my current Harlequin Superromance, Whispers Under a Southern Sky.