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Tools of the Trade Made Simple…Maybe

Just about everyone who indulges in the creative process has means of keeping track of various notes, thoughts, and jottings. Something that I hear often, though, is this: “I come up with some of my best stuff in the middle of the night, but then by morning I can’t ever remember any of it.” I’m guilty of this, too, to an extent that is embarrassing to share. For me, it was all a matter of laziness.

If you’re in bed sleeping – nice and cozy beneath the blankets with the “dent” in the mattress caressing you just so – you don’t want to leave that to go fumbling about for pen and paper to scribble something down, and then hope that you can manage to get back to sleep without issues. However, I became so frustrated by my inability to remember all the “good bits” from the night before, that I began to wonder if a little sleep deprivation might be worth it. Of course, it wasn’t until maybe six months ago that I happened upon a wonderful compromise.

Many of us sleep with our smartphone close by. I actually use mine as an alarm clock so it’s always beside me. I realized that the phone could serve a greater purpose, other than keeping me awake during the late hours playing Hustle Castle (or whatever the Game of the Month might be). Just about every smartphone comes with some sort of voice recording software, and it has become vital to my revived career as a writer.  Who needs to skitter about at 3am looking for something to write with when an idea hits? I simply roll over, grab my phone, activate the software, mumble my genius into it, and go right back to bed. No lights, no stubbed toes, no leaving the magic dent in the mattress.

You might not think that something so seemingly simple could be effective, but it has given a great boost to my creative process. Those late night ideas, even if they sound completely outlandish in the light of day, aren’t lost anymore. I enjoy the opportunity to go through them, and at least a dozen such recordings were converted, fleshed out, and incorporated into Duality.  I made a recording at about 3:30 this morning that may actually end up forming the basis for a novel (if I can figure out where to put it on the Grand List of Things Already In Place).

Maybe I should write a novel called, “Tales from the Dent,” comprised of all the ideas that didn’t quite make it into a book, but are still too good to keep to myself…