No Time And No Words Did I Waste

My dear friend of 10+ years talked to me on Skype for an hour and 45 minutes. Gerry ███████████ an openly gay and borderline effeminate college best friend of mine who despite his busy schedule, always finds time to keep in touch. Not only has he enjoyed huge success in recent years, but he finally met the man of his dreams (███) whom he lives with in ███████████, Ohio.

During the course of our conversation, Gerry brought back memories and remembrances of the good old days back when we were students at Marshall University. It’s sad to think of how I let the good times pass me by without any way of accurately recollecting daily events. 1998 was a year when digital photography was in its early stages of development, when HTML was the latest trend, and video was recorded to magnetic tape and equipment was costly. And yet at that time, I carried with me a cheap notebook and a pen everywhere I went. No time and no words did I waste, either. Somehow even my notebook faded into obscurity and was lost forever, taking with it what tiny little insignificant details of my college experience with it.

Although in recent years, technology has been misused if the resources and technology of today was available when I was in college, I believe that I would have been able to better document and preserve my experiences. Contrary to popular belief, computer technology is far better suited for preservation than paper, so long as the storage media is kept secure. Nothing ever changes or ages when it’s stored in a computer.

Any good writer will tell you that they rely an external forces for inspiration. Quite a few of the things I’ve written were inspired by everyday conversations I overheard between two strangers conversing in public. Others were inspired by discarded notes, photos, poetry written on napkins, etc. It’s the little things in life, that if observed and given the attention they deserve, can make the biggest difference in the life of an aspiring writer.

Today I broke down and purchased a Moleskine notebook. The biggest challenge I face is that in moments of sheer brilliance, I find myself in the awkwardest of situations without a place to record my thoughts or ideas. Later on when I finally get to my notebook or computer, the idea is forgotten or incomplete, leading me towards a feeling of frustration. The solution is simple; I should always carry a pen and a paper with me just as I did when I was in college.

Most of the lessons we learn are learned after it is too late. Sometimes the things we regard as useless or insignificant become invaluable and irreplaceable once they’re lost or forgotten about.

November 3, 2008


  • andnowwhatcaroline

    The frustration of losing a good idea when you hear it at an inconvenient time! It’s the bane of all writers, I think. I used to carry a very small moleskin notebook for years. I wonder where it is now?

    • Thomas Slatin

      I love Moleskine notebooks! I have filled several of them, and my wife and I have started to digitize them onto our web server here at the house. While the nostalgia factor exists in having physical possessions from years ago, the utility exists in having the contents in digital form, making it both text searchable as well as readily accessible. 🙂

  • mydangblog

    I take notes on my phone when I can’t write them on paper–especially helpful at night when I wake up with a cool idea but don’t want to turn on the lamp and wake up Ken!

    • Thomas Slatin

      Amelia and I are always reading and taking notes, even if it’s the middle of the night. We have a fantastic relationship and understanding that this is the life of a writer.

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