Storytelling Vs Journaling – The Razor Thin Line

confused & bewildered

Not everything I write in a notebook is true. Far from it. I have this nagging fear that if someone was rude enough to rifle through my books that I would be declared insane. Or at the very least profoundly disturbed. I need to bring some rudimentary organization to my writing efforts. There are numerous notebooks scattered around the house. Mixed in to every notebook is day-to-day journaling, memoir style snippets, and some just out-and-out total fiction. It’s getting confusing even for me.

The urgent need to write comes over me no matter where I am or what I’m doing. The problem is compounded the fact that I like to minimize and not carry around huge bags big enough for a notebook. So now I have a collection of small notebooks with more snippets strung between different purses and backpacks for those times when I absolutely must commit something to paper before I burst a vein.

It doesn’t help that I have the memory span of a gnat. A fabulous idea, in my opinion, comes to me and I forget it before I find a notebook to write it down. Maybe I should string a small notebook and hang it around my neck.

Another thing I need to do before my head explodes is hook up with other fiction writers. I have questions. LOTS of questions. Is it normal to have multiple story lines floating around in ones cranium the same time? What do you do if this is the case? The old orderliness rule that I’m not very good at following says finish one thing before you start another. Not my forte.

I also have a different story cruising along in another box in my brain that keeps switching time periods. Maybe I should stop fighting it and meld it into part of the plot? Sigh. Like I said, I have lots of questions.

11 responses

  1. I do that! I think of things driving to or from work and forget by the time I get to my destination. Very annoying. But I remember I thought of something, just not what it actually was!

  2. It seems to me that you’re packed with ideas. A blessed place to be. The worst time to record ideas though is the middle of the night when a dream comes up with a cracker…….”I’ll do it in the morning”………..nope, Gone !

    1. Yes those midnight thoughts are so fleeting. I keep a notebook by the bed.

  3. “I have this nagging fear that if someone was rude enough to rifle through my books that I would be declared insane.”
    Awesome line!

    1. LOL I even asked my shrink about it. She said if I was nervous about it to label the writing “fact” or “fiction”. But that won’t help since I tend to lapse from one to the other when I’m on a roll.

  4. I would suggest joining a writers’ group – at least for a while. I am sure there are some in your neck of the woods… Or take a continuing ed course at a college/university on fiction writing. I did both and met a lot of writers dealing with these issues (which I was also dealing with at the time.)

    I also met some wankers and attention-seekers, which was a drag, but the good outweighed the annoying and I learned heaps from both – the sorts of things that I might have figured out on my own, but it was great to move forward by so many leaps and bounds… The first story I ever had published was drafted as an exercise in a short story class…

    1. Thanks for the advice. I think I just might sign me up 🙂

  5. I hear you–my notebooks are off-limits. I have no idea what people would think if they read them. Fortunately, I have handwriting not unlike a poorly-educated third-grader, which helps obfuscate some.

    1. Depends on what time of day I write if my handwriting is legible. Unfortunately it usually is. Those Nuns in Catholic school made sure we had good penmanship.

  6. I would say this is normal for a writer. At least it is for me, especially the many notebooks! Good God!

    1. How do you keep track of it? Or do you?

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