The unintelligible jot 

I know lots of writers have a handy note-book and jot down thoughts, inspirations, observations, noting little scenes, overheard scraps of conversation – that sort of thing. I’ve tried to do the same but it never seems so simple – I forget notebook and/or pen/pencil, I can’t find notebook and/or pen/pencil, but mostly, when I’ve jotted down my jottings and I come to have a look at them, I can’t read my own writing. I’ve tried printing, which is slightly more legible, but not as quick and the essence of jotting is speed of jot. An artist friend showed me her notebook, which was just amazing! Little scribbled sketches, legible notes jotted here and there, odd things she had picked up to inspire her – leaves, bus tickets, pressed flowers. Her handwriting was beautiful and legible, each page almost a work of art in itself. I was glumly envious as well as being full of admiration for her style and creativity.

It occurred to me that I could use my phone, and jot on my phone, and now I do – when I remember! However, even then, legible it may be, but the jot is not always intelligible. For example, I’d had an inspiration about a poem, a play on the words sole and soul, and at the end I wrote ‘spitball not spiritual’, ‘angles mort’ (should that be angels?) and ‘porpoise dissection’.  In another set of notes I wrote Therma Dudgeon – is she a proposed character? – then zephyr, Silkman, Furber- weapon repairs, Wilderspin. Some might be proposed characters, but then I’ve written what might have been an idea for a story:

 Someone in a play has to imagine the background and backstory of a character and becomes that person. The white clock. Sometimes one thing happens which trips a switch and changes something, your thoughts, your dreams, your destination.

I’m not sure my phone notes are any more helpful than my scribbles in a notebook as I can’t remember what I was thinking of. However, maybe I should challenge myself to write something using these odd and very random notes!

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