Tree Killer

15 Feb

A writer never knows when an idea will burst forth from the cocoon of her mind.  However, when this occurs there never seems to be a pen/paper within arm’s reach or a blank WORD document open. 

Ideas often come to me while I’m driving.  In my Sentra, I zone out and allow the music blaring through my factory speakers to wash over my mind.  (Unfortunately, this means I’m not always paying sufficient attention to the other drivers on the road—a daunting thought because, in Tennessee, turn signals are a novelty.)   

Travelling gives me an opportunity to focus on specific parts of a story or new projects I’m interested in pursuing.  In those transportational moments I have come up with some of the best phrases in my books.  Even though the timing is inconvenient (and multi-tasking while driving is frowned upon), it is vital to capture the precise way my mind has re-worked and edited a strand of words.  Otherwise, the flow will evaporate, leaving me unable to recapture the exact way I had previously expressed something. 

To combat this lack of an ever-present medium, I carry a tiny blue notepad in my purse.  The thing is worn to bits and nearly out of pages, but it has eased my panic on too many occasions to count. 

When I was coming up with names for my blog, my notebook was in the trunk.  So I ended up scribbling on an envelope (formerly abandoned in the abyss that is my glove compartment).  I have multiple spiral-notebooks full of half-hearted stories that will never move beyond those lined pages; characters make an appearance, have a few lines exchanged with no one in particular, and disappear again.  I print out my first (and second, and third, and…) to make all corrections with a proverbial red pen.

Why do I write using such a “primitive” medium?

Ultimately, this habit stems from my distrust in technology.  How many of us would be incapacitated if our computers crashed? 

I’m fully aware that my notebooks would make great kindling if there was ever a fire, but I’ll take my chances.  Besides, it’s easier for me to manipulate my ideas with a pen than it is for me to input my initial thoughts via keyboard.

So, for now I’ll remain a tree-killer.  But know this: those oaks, poplars and pines did not die in vain.  They died so that my dreams could be preserved for posterity—a truly noble end indeed.


7 Responses to “Tree Killer”

  1. Janet February 15, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    I have notebooks scattered around too, especially beside my bed. I seem to get my best ideas just as I’m falling asleep. Ease your tree-killer guilt and buy notebooks that are made of recycled paper – not perfect but better.

    • movingforeword February 15, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      I’m ashamed to admit that I’m not sure whether or not my notebooks are made from recycled paper as most of them have been gifts. But what a great suggestion! Thank you 🙂 Oh, and I know what you mean about ideas just before you go to sleep. If you don’t write them down it’s nearly impossible to fall into sweet oblivion.

      • Janet February 15, 2012 at 10:00 am #

        I find too that no matter how sure I am I’ll remember them, I never do in the morning and it’s so frustrating!

  2. Katherine Browning February 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Computers were supposed to make us paperless but we old people still want a hard copy of everything too. But remember trees are a renewable resource. We can always plant more.

  3. Cecile February 17, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    I’ve got a notebook in every bag I own. I used to have just this one booklet, which I carried around and moved from bag to bag, but after forgetting to put it into the right one – and of course, I went on a three hour train journey that they- I decided to buy several notebooks- just to make sure the chances of that happening again were limited. I also tried using my Smartphone instead of a notebook, but it doesn’t really work – not for me at least.

    • movingforeword February 17, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      A notebook in every bag? How convenient! I love this idea! I’ve tried entering things into my phone as well, but my fingers can’t seem to find the buttons fast enough to get everything down 🙂

      • Cecile February 17, 2012 at 8:38 am #

        That’s exactly my problem. Besides, if I stop for a more than a minute and want to continue my keyboard is blocked and it won’t unblock itself unless I close the program and restart it. Never had that problem with my pen and notebook 🙂

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