In my head, I write all the time. In my mind there is an endless sprawl of potentially award-winning stuff. In my head I am constantly narrating my own life. All day, every day. And I don’t do it consciously, my brain does it automatically, and it works a thousand times quicker than I do, and it’s a thousand times more intelligent, and a thousand times more witty. Sadly, this is a side of me you’ll never see.
Every so often, when I’m wandering around, letting my subconscious narrate my life, it will reel off the odd paragraph or two of really great stuff and I’ll think; “Wow, that’s a really accurate/witty portrayal of my own life. I can’t believe I just thought of that – well done me!” and then I tell myself that I should probably write it down before I forget it and then my subconscious hides away taking said paragraph of literary genius with it.
Last week I wrote about something that wasn’t the idea I had for my blog post, but about the fact I *had* an idea for a blog post and had since forgotten it. This is a problem that I meet time and time again. And i doesn’t stop at blog posts; I’ve had so many ideas for my novel, for short stories, Oscar-winning screenplays, that have just slipped into the ether because my subconscious is a cheat and my brain is too feckless to retain them long enough for me to write them down.
Whenever I attempt to write a random idea down, as soon as pen hits the paper the it rapidly begins to dissolve. With each stroke of the pen, more of it falls away, and no matter what, I don’t ever get the essence of what my subconscious had churned out. And the harder I try to remember it, the worse it gets until all I’m left with is some ramshackle half-wit of an idea that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
It’s a bit like trying to carry a sandcastle from one end of a beach to another and expecting it to still be in perfect condition when you get there. I speak from experience – it totally doesn’t work. For one thing, the second you attempt to pick up a sandcastle it crumbles into its former constructed state of, well, sand. So instead, you carry the piles of sand to the other side of the beach with the aim to reconstruct it exactly as it was. But let’s face it, you’re never going to pick up all the sand you used to build the first sandcastle, and you’ll lose some of it in transit, and it begins to dry out so when you reach the other side of the beach and build your new sandcastle, it’s all wonky and crooked; not a patch on the awesome sandy piece of architecture you constructed mere moments ago.
And I know what you’re thinking; why would anyone dismantle a sandcastle and attempt to carry it from one end of a beach to another?
While I understand that’s a very valid question, it totally destroys my metaphor about ideas, so how about you just keep it to yourself, okay?
Anyway, if you’re having trouble following this sandcastle metaphor, then I’ve gone to the trouble of creating this diagram for you instead. You’re welcome.
So, the bottom line is; ideas are a lot like sandcastles.
Anyway, knowing that the likely outcome of me attempting to write an idea down will result in me
building a rubbish-looking sandcastle writing something down that isn’t vaguely akin to the witty, edgy stuff that my subconscious created, I don’t bother to write it down.
Knowing I’ve got a brilliant idea in me, somewhere, and knowing I am completely incapable of writing it down I frequently find myself wishing I could plug my brain into a USB port on my PC and upload thoughts onto my hard-drive. Then I’d run some kind of amazing software which would transcribe my thoughts directly into an MS Word document.
This would really save me a lot of time and trouble in the creative process – I would have an entire library of ideas to work from. I could have written six novels by now. Maybe more. Maybe seven novels.
Plus, if I could invent such amazing software, I’d be working for Micro$oft and earning millions. And I wouldn’t even have to worry about writing novels and blog posts and things. You’re welcome, Bill Gates. You can totally have my idea for freesies, because you’re geeky and know all the stuff I don’t, preventing me from ever developing this idea further because I don’t even know where to start when it comes to connecting the brain by USB to your PC. And there’s always the worry I’m not compatible with Windows 7 [You’d probably have to run your brain on a DOS emulator – Geeky Reader].
To conclude: if clever technological folk stopped arsing around developing cloud computing to enable morons to edit pictures of their stupid ugly families into pictures of of their stupid, slightly less ugly families, and used my idea to create amazing subconscious transcribing software and brain to PC USB cables, then I would have written six or seven novels by now. And/or be earning loads by working for Micro$oft.
Further proof that my writing career has been sabotaged by the lack of technological progression.
PS. Subconscious transcribing software and brain to PC USB cables do not exist. I already checked on Amazon.