I Stink at Note Taking

A photo showing my favorite little notebook and my favorite writing pen.

This is my favorite notebook (with my favorite pen). If I’m without my iPod, story notes get written down here.

As the title of this post suggests, I’m not very good at taking notes. I never have been. Because, if I’m listening to someone talk and I try taking quick notes of what they say, I end up missing some of what they just said. Which is frustrating and distracting (and I end up with a bunch of messy notes I can’t even read).

So I rarely take notes. And that lack of practice is a stumbling block in my writing life.

I recently chanced upon some notes I took concerning my second novel (my 2012 NaNo novel) while trying to organize my Scrivener file (it’s as messy as my room, and, because of that, I had forgotten to utilize those notes during NaNo). From the looks of one of the notes, I must have had an idea for a sentence strike me in the middle of the night, and I must have quickly jotted it down before I forgot it, because I can’t tell what in the world I was trying to say.

What’s really sad is that I gave the one-liner some context, but I still don’t understand what it means (or what gave me the urge to write it down in the first place, since it lacks brilliance).

I’ll go ahead and post the sentence here in all it’s glory for you to puzzle over: Perhaps the person who was meant to have this is someone I know.

Here’s the context that I had written in the note: the sentence belongs in the second book in the scene where MC discovers and reads her master’s journal.

That’s not really a lot to go on, since I don’t even know who said or thought it (my story is written in third person, so someone must have said/thought it).

Now, that particular scene was one I outlined in great detail during October, as I had every little nitty-gritty detail transferred from my mind to paper. Yet I can’t imagine my MC thinking that line or her master writing that line down in the journal, so I’m just left trying to decipher who said/thought it, and what exactly they were talking about.

If anyone has this same problem, I’d love to hear from you (and maybe learn a few tips to avoid this mess again in the future).

In the mean time, I’m going to busy myself by learning how to take better notes.

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2 thoughts on “I Stink at Note Taking

  1. I have had that same problem happen a few times before. I even bought a notebook for my carry along bag, but I sometimes don’t have the bag with me either (whoops). I ended up getting a recorder app on my phone and use that quick (I usually try to give it some context or at least a title in the speech if I don’t have time to type the title.) Of course I have to remember to go back and listen to them. Maybe that would help?

    • Takayta says:

      I never thought of making a recording (and my iPod even came with an app for making voice memos). That would be easier and faster than typing or handwriting a note, especially if I wake up in the middle of the night again with what I think is a brilliant idea. I’ll be sure to try that next time. Thanks! 🙂

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