There’s nothing worse than losing a good idea because you forgot to write it down – except maybe writing it down then losing the notebook you wrote it in…
I keep notebooks. I make notes, write down observations, record snippets of conversations, jot ideas and make lists. I have spiral bounds notebooks, composition books with marble covers, legal pads, and notebooks small enough to fit in my purse. Once I fill a notebook or finish with it I keep it. But I have a terrible habit of writing things down and then forgetting which notebook I wrote them in.
I can’t be the only one who has done this.
I am now kicking myself because I have written something (potentially) brilliant and can’t find the notebook it is written in.
I came across this particular piece earlier this summer while I was cleaning out my filing cabinet, penned in an old notebook. I remember writing it, sitting in class and ignoring the lesson entirely, instead filling eight or ten pages reflecting on the most awkward and hellish years of my life – middle school. While the writing itself isn’t my greatest, it was written with such honesty and clarity I could remember the night before that first day of school like it was yesterday.
I thought I’d like to reread it, perhaps rework it into some sort of personal essay, not necessarily for public consumption, but for my own enjoyment.
And now that I can’t find that notebook anywhere, I’m afraid I have lost it, that I perhaps threw it away in my cleaning frenzy.
But how could I have done such a thing? As a rule, I never throw my writing away, no matter how terrible it may seem. Anything we’ve written represents what we were feeling at that moment. I still have stories I write longhand in elementary school, but lost an entire novel-length story I wrote in high school that I had saved on a 3.5 inch floppy disk (yeah, remember those?)
What is a writer to do when she has lost a piece of writing?
The obvious advice here is to BACKUP YOUR WORK. With great tools like Dropbox I can save my work to the Cloud and access it just about anywhere. But that doesn’t help me keep track of my random scribbles on scraps of paper.
Have you ever lost your writing?