Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Saturday 27 October 2012

Write it Down!

There’s always stuff to do, but, yesterday, I was on top of things.
I’d got to the place I wanted to be with the new book, I hadn’t yet started the final edit on Gilead, and I’d spoken to my agent about Names; I’d done a tiny little favour for a friend, and had dropped a short story on my desktop to read as a special treat. I had the VAT lined up for Monday and Tuesday, and that was it; my in-tray was, for all sensible purposes empty.

I don’t generally keep blogs on-hand. If I have an idea and ten minutes to write it, I might have one or two in the drawer, ready to go, but I usually write my blogs on the mornings I post them; they’re a sort of warming up exercise; I tend to write them while I have my first cup of tea in bed. It’s a bit like opening the mail, I suppose, or limbering up.

Last night, I had an idea for a blog. it was a good idea, and, under almost any circumstances, I would have written it down; I might even have sat down and written the blog if it had been any other time of the day or day of the week, but Friday night is date night, and I was in the bath getting ready for dinner with the husband. I didn’t get out of the bath to jot down my idea, and I didn’t jot down a note when I did get out of the bath.

I keep a nifty little pen on my bedside table, with a notebook, for the purpose of writing down ideas and bits and pieces that occur to me in the night or when I’m upstairs; for occasions exactly like this one, in fact, but I didn’t write this note down. I didn’t write this note down, because it was only one little thought, and I decided that because my head wasn’t swimming with things, that everything was neatly taken care of and I wasn’t juggling half-a-dozen projects, that I would simply remember my blog idea and write it in the morning without any trouble.


There is a reason why I keep a notebook and pen in my handbag and another on my desk and one more on my bedside table. There is a reason why I keep a virtual notebook on my computer... On each of my computers, in fact. There is a reason why I keep notes. There is a reason why I write things down. There is a reason why I record ideas. There is a reason why I keep lists.

I know this. I do not need to remind myself of the fact that if I do not write it down, I will forget it!

What I am doing here is reminding you that if you do not write it down, you too will forget it.

I’m all right, because, in the end, I got a blog out of my idea, anyway. I still miss it, though. I’m still left with the feeling that I wanted to write about something, that it had some value to me, and that it might have had some value out in the big wide World.

It is gone now, and I shall mourn it, just a little.

In the meantime, learn my lesson and learn it well.

If you have an idea, write the little bastard down. You might not use it now; you might not use it ever, but if you don’t write it down then you’re bound to need it, and, what’s more, you’re bound to have forgotten it when its time has come... and you wouldn’t want that, now, would you?


  1. This is so true! I'm the same, handy little notebooks everywhere. Most of them either lead nowhere or are just a starting point for something else, but several have been the kernel of a whole book!

  2. I have notebooks, scraps of paper, screeds of notepad files. for some reason some of my ideas have a habit of hitting me last thing at night when the lights are out, so I have to flick on the light and scrabble for a pen and scrap paper (usually nearby).

    unfortunately it's also why I have a rude tendency to dominate conversation, cos if I don't get that idea out while it's there, sometimes it's just gone.