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Earlier | Later

catching thoughts

Big ideas need time to come together, more time than I have.

Little ideas are fleeting and scattered, hard to catch and set down.

So I sit down, coming to writing a bit later than I'd intended, closer to midnight. More often than not, it's close to midnight. Sometimes close to midnight is a quarter-hour. Sometimes close to midnight is an hour, or even two. The size of the idea determines how close it is to midnight, but how close it is to midnight also determines the size of the idea that is written. 

Topics are easier and harder than ideas. Not that ideas aren't topics, or topics ideas. But the distinction here is that topics are forethoughts, ideas I've already caught and prepared to write about. Topics are hey my knee is healed, or the next chapter of cosmology, or the concert I saw recently (which reminds me: need to wrap up the 2009 concerts at least, before 2010 ends). Ideas are, it's time to sit down and get today's journal entry written before midnight occurs, so, what's on my mind, what sounds interesting, what do I feel like. 

So I sit down, and: Doom, the world's running out of everything and we have too many people and it's all going to be horrible; no, not enough time for that. "Ordinary Days", a fiction series I want to start; but I don't actually have any story or character ideas yet, just a title and a vague sense of it being post-apocalyptic urban fantasy. What was that other thing that came up in conversation this afternoon, that I thought would also be a good story/essay series? Can't remember. Ummm… KEXP's new digs, again no time and half-formed ideas. Maybe a follow-up on how it's already difficult to stick to using my time better, what with so much stuff going on this week right before I leave for Christmas, but don't really want to write about that.

And so I end up with this kind of meta-topic, writing about trying to write. And that fills up the quarter-hour I left myself to get something written. Well, it's kind of interesting, at least.


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