I know a lot of writers who are constantly taking notes. They carry notepads around with them and jot down all the idea gems that pop into there heads. Many writers also keep notepads next to their beds so they can make a note of the ideas that wake them in the night.
A few years ago, I met with a writer friend and had to wait an extra fifteen minutes for him to get there. When he arrived he said, "I got a scene idea and had to pull over to the side of the road and write it down." The guy's published multiple best sellers, so I'm not going to question his methods but I still don't really get it.
If authors stop to write down every thought that pops into their heads, how do they ever get anything done? I've never made a writing related note to myself. I'm not even sure how I'd go about doing it. The whole concept really just baffles me.
Here's why. When I'm drafting, I think about my characters ALL the time. I get most of my best ideas when I'm lying in bed, driving my car, or standing in line at the grocery store. Whole scenes play out in my mind and new plot lines develop. I think about these scenes, and then I think about them some more, and then eventually I find the time to sit down at my computer and type like crazy.
Some ideas are forgotten and never make it onto the actual page, but I just assume they weren't very good ideas. When I'm actively typing, I write very fast. Because there is no thinking about what comes next involved. I'm just dictating my past daydreams to myself.
Maybe I'm blessed with a good memory, and other writers need notes on actual paper to remind them of their brilliant ideas. But for me, a mental note is good enough. And I'm sure if I had a notepad next to my bed, the notes I jotted down wouldn't be a few simple words to remind me about my idea in the morning. I'd end up staying up all night and drafting three new chapters. Sleep is important, and when I'm in hard core writing mode I almost always dream about my characters. So there's no notepads allowed in my bedroom.
What about you? Are you a mental note taker, or a notepad carrying kind of writer?