Friday, July 10, 2009


Blogging is wonderful for the mind. It forces you to originate and channel thoughts. Too bad it doesn't work out the rest of the body as well.

Ok, I am darn near 70 so I can put up with the inactivity from my neck down. Only physical benefit I can see is that my fingers are showing greater stamina and flexibility than they ever had even when I was a youngster. Isn't that a muscle right above my knuckle? May be. So if the mind is flexible and firm, I should be happy, right?

My problem is that my particular mind is most fertile when I have no ready access to record the thoughts and guess what--- they disappear. Four AM, or there abouts, is when I succumb to my most active mental creativity . Ideas pour out of the dark places in my brain, stumbling all over each other, wanting to be heard. "Pick me, pick me", they scream. Being totally relaxed with no physical pressures (just took care of that in the bathroom) lets my mind free flow.

I know this sounds egocentric but hay, there is some good stuff going on in my brain during the wee hours. I just can't capture them.I think, surely I will remember what I just thought and I even repeat it several times to fix it in my memory.

Not even close. Something about my feet hitting the floor and being completely awakened, instantly erases the blackboard in my head. It is like my head just empties. Poof. I try to lay down again to recapture those ideas, but nothing. I fix coffee hoping that will open the closed doors, but all is peaceful and serene in my bean. AAARRRRGH.

A while back I thought, why not get a tape recorder and just record the ideas before I got up? Good idea Patti. What I wanted was a recorder that had an on / off button with reverse , forward and play as the high tech part. If this were the 70's, that would be possible. Not finding simple and functional, I bought a very small recorder that I hoped would do the trick.

This little sucker is no bigger than a half a pack of cigarettes, but with its seven little buttons, has darn near the functions of my computer. Where are the Thoreau type thinkers when you need them? Simplify folks, please simplify.

This recorder has modes and selections than are impossible for me to access in the semi- dark. It does have a voice activated function but it takes too many selections to reach that mode. By then, I am holding it close to my mouth with a completely empty brain--- gone again. All I manage to record are heavy sighs and Mighty's dream bark. These wonderful thoughts are very fragile. Doesn't take much to send them back into hiding.

Ok I thought, how about a primitive approach, paper and pen. That kind of works if I am able to read my writing after scribbling on my knee from a prone position with only a night light for guidance (turning on a light has the same effect as feet hitting floor).

My handwriting is barely legible when sitting properly at a desk. It was never good and now thanks to the computer, it has disintegrated to something that would embarrass a six year old. Trust me, not pretty. Result-- I usually can't read my own writing.

Because these 4 AM flashes of memory trips, dialogue, and turn of phrase become wisps of smoke, I am often left with the pedestrian task of grinding out posts instead of having them pour from me. How I love the free flow method which I experience on occasion. I am greedy and want that all the time, it is my drug of choice. So I ask for your help.

How do you corral and pin down your ideas? I'm open to suggestion.


  1. Oh dear. I don't know a blogger that doesn't mention it, including one I have who is a professional writer and currently has writer's block.

    My only suggestion is I create and enter titles to blogs which trigger whatever idea I had. and save them to be developed. Later I may actually develop the story and/or change the title. Sometimes I start it and decide it is an effort in futility, thus the delete key.

    This is all new to me, both posting and commenting. I don't have a good hold on either.

    I am trying to develop a better "comment" style as some of my comments seem to have been misinterpreted, or I need some "schooling" in proper etiquette!

    The book review is posted. Tell me how I did and it doesn't have to be flowery. I've never done this before.

    I did not quote a poem in total because I did not seek permission, but feel I adequately attributed everything.

    I think sometimes I just need to let the writer know I was there and put a period. I will learn.

  2. so colorfully described what all creative people experience. I have no great suggestions to offer as you have already tried any I would have added.
    Great post though! All you great bloggers make me feel so inadequate!

  3. I write haiku in my head at 4:00 am, and they are really good ones. I never remember them, because counting syllables always puts me back to sleep. I think I have just accepted that I lose what I create in the night. I am reminded of something Allen Ginsberg wrote in Howl:
    "who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish."

    I just had a thought, have you ever tried saying it out loud? While you are turning on that complicated tape recorder, maybe saying the words instead of just thinking it will keep the ideas in your mind.

  4. Nitwit,
    Thank you for the reassurances and ideas. I do use the list and it helps a lot.
    You gave a very comprehensive review. Well done.

    Thank you so much for the kind words.
    You should never feel inadequate. You have a very good blog that I try not to miss.

    Pretty sure you have nailed it. Light bulbs going off all over the place.
    Think Ginsberg may be absolutely right. Perhaps the reason I can't remember them is that they aren't worthy of remembering. They are only brilliant in the woozy mind of a half awake person. It is probably nature's way of boosting yet protecting our self image.
    I will try your "out loud" method but am pretty sure it may just prove Ginsberg's theory. Not too sure I want to destroy my illusions.

  5. What a great post. Describes all of us from time to time. I've been brain dead for two days. Need to come up with something today.

    I don't wake up with good ideas during the night because I don't wake up.

  6. Hi Patti,
    I like to tell you, that I am changing addres of my blog.
    I keep the Blue Cafe open, but I do not write there any more.
    If you are still interesting me, please,go...

    ..and you find the same me, but an outher name.

    Mia N (Blue)

  7. Linda,
    Aren't you lucky to sleep through. Lucky you. Hang in there, age will eventually put you on the midnight run.

    Mia N
    Well there you are Blue. You can run but you can't hide. I will go to your new site. Thanks.

  8. I have written about this before, but not so much at night time. I get my best ideas in the car, and I can't very well write them down while driving down the road. I do keep a tablet in the car and try to scribble key words - and then moat likely can't read or decipher them later.

  9. kenju,
    Ooh, the car is double trouble. Glad someone else has trouble reading their own writing. Sometimes I will look at a word and just mutter,"What in the world was I thinking." Thanks for not making me feel alone.