I woke up this morning inspired to write. I knew my direction but I also felt like I needed to find the notes I took at a session at the 2018 Romance Writers of America convention in Denver. I could not remember the name of the speaker, but it was about writing for your id. It was a great session and gave me permission not to try so hard to break out of the aspects of romance I enjoyed but worried were cliche. I shouldn't be different for the sake of being different. If it feels right to me, it will feel right to my readers.
The problem I have is that I have loads of spiral note books and I use them for all sorts of things. Which one I write in depends on which one I grab when I pack my bag. I do dress sketches for Irish dancing. I take notes on staff meetings. I write outlines and scenes for whatever is in my head that day, no matter what actual project I'm supposed to be writing. It's a mess. Most of the notebooks are half-full but not in any sort of sequential order. Some of them include ten pages at the back. Usually the very act of writing it down means I'll remember and then type it out later, but I don't do this with notes from events.
As I looked through my notes I found such stand alone, with no context at all, statements as:
- 200+ years of rape.
- Bags of seed save the day.
- "I trust you" is the highest honor you can give someone.
- Boob situation/solution?
I found World of Warcraft fan fiction that I'd forgotten about interspersed with teaching notes I never followed up on. The collection of notebooks went back to 2012 and one of the pages includes my attempt to turn the Batman image into Celtic knot work. I found pieces of a chapter based on the characters from Shakespeare and became inspired to work on the that project (something shelved four years ago so I could finish the manuscripts that needed it) then found notes for my actual work in progress that inspired this search through my notebooks in the first place. Thank goodness that got me back on track.
I did what I should have done in the first place and shoved all the book back onto my bookshelf to go through another time when I wasn't in the I NEED TO WRITE NOW mood. But first I took a picture.
The crazy thing is that I know there are more somewhere.
I did a search online after all of the fruitless digging through spiral notebooks and found the answers to all my questions -- but this puts a damper on the sense of urgency I had while looking through years of randomness. The speaker was author Dr. Jennifer Barnes. This post from Eight Ladies Writing summed it up well and gave me the basic list I was looking for. The blog post author, Jilly Wood, wrote that, "Stories or scenes depicting sex, touch, beauty, wealth, power, competition and danger push our pleasure buttons." Wonderful. Question answered. My journey through years of random notes/writing only served to let me know I needed to be more organized.