Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Notes in the Night by Andy Scheer

I had an article coming due, but no idea what to write.

I went to bed convincing myself not to worry. Before the deadline, I’d get an idea.

I'd just watched a TV drama one of Agatha Christie’s stories with detective Hercule Poirot, known for trusting the work of his “little gray cells.”

My bedside clock showed 3:30. I knew what I’d write.

I also knew that if I didn’t record my idea, I'd stay awake for the next hour, fearing that come morning, it would be gone.

I found a pencil and yesterday’s Dilbert calendar page and trudged to the bathroom. Under the nightlight I scribbled a working title and a few supporting details. A quick drink of water and I went back to sleep until 7:30.

By daylight my note still made sense. For good measure, I scribbled working titles for two more articles.

Let’s hear it for little gray cells — and little sheets of paper.


Diana said...

I have had to do the same but mine do not always make sense in the morning :-)I keep paper in the car at all times as well. I can not trust my memory.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I do the same thing, Andy, but my best ideas come in the shower--I need a waterproof dry erase board to hang in there!

P.S. We LOVE Poirot! Isn't he classy?

Rick Barry said...

I'm a believer in this process. It's a little like dicing carrots and potatoes into a stew, then placing the pot on low heat to simmer. Those little gray cells and can get the job done, even while the author is sleeping.

Linda Glaz said...

Same here. If I don't write down right away, it's gone by morning.

David B. Smith said...

And of course, there's the classic "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry writes down this perfectly brilliant joke . . . but in the morning cannot decipher it. The entire episode is all his friends trying to read his handwriting, to no effect. But you're right - the midnight hour often produces the best inspiration, and you've gotta jot it down.