Notes On Youth, Or just Notes
“My faith was so much stronger then
I believed in fellow man
And I was so much older then
When I was young, when I was young”
So sang Eric Burdon with his “The Animals” way back then, when he actually was young. As somebody of a more tender age, he was certainly guessing, getting some things right, some things wrong. You could sense one sadness that “I was so much older than”. Sure, you can have some bad experiences as young, but then, at that age, you keep on rushing into things, as some more metaphysically oriented people would say, like that “The Fool” in Tarot cards. You take some things for granted, not realizing they just might not always be there.
But what has that got to do with writing? Well, as Material, an Eighties experimental band led by Bill Lasswell said, “Memory Serves”, until it might start failing you. As anybody, and particularly as a writer, you get ideas, and if you don’t note them down and organize them (then or later), you’re bound to forget them, or they just become the blurred outline of your thoughts. At youth, you quite often don’t bother to do that, because you rely on your memory. And that is not only a certain way to forget facts but also a sure way to lose ideas. Or not even get them. You will get them based on what?
Somebody under an interesting name, Sharif’s Twitface wrote on Medium an article called “Why You Should Script It”. It did give me this idea, so I saved it. These days, we have so many ways and means to note our ideas, the ideas of others, texts, books, images, whatever. It is so easy to use them, almost anywhere. Sitting behind your trusted work machine, with an iPad/tablet in hand, or with a mobile phone on a train or wherever. Just use them. Usually, the first idea might not be the best or the best developed one, but it is certainly the freshest. And fresh is good.
One word of warning though. The number of modern tools available to memorize could also disorganize. Unless, of course, you make a script for that too (and you should) of what you are going to use for a certain purpose and when. Otherwise, it could turn into a mess. Or, it might not be a bad idea to keep one of those old fashioned notebooks around — you might note have one of your tools around you, it might not have that certain program on it, or it just might not be handy to type on those dinky mobile phone screens at that very moment (Blackberry type keyboards are on the way out, I’m afraid). I got myself one of the fancy “Moleskine” strikingly red notebooks with Thelonious Monk and Blue Note logo on the cover. So whether I feel like doing the “Bemsha Swing” or it is that time “Round Midnight”, I can still write something down. At least I can be sure to cross out one thing of that Eric Burdon’s youth regret lists. Even at my age.