Let’s compare these two scenarios…
Scenario A: You’re a huge Star Wars fan, but you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet (I know, impossible, but stick with me). And let’s say that I drove you to the movie theater, but before you went in to watch the movie, I stopped you, handed you a notepad and told you to write up some notes on the movie and tell me afterwards.
Scenario B: In this scenario, we’ll put ourselves in the same situation, but this time, I just let you go right in, watch the movie, AND THEN, when you got out, I asked you to tell me about it.
Which scenario would give me a more colorful, complete, compelling breakdown of the movie, Scenario A or B? It’s a no-brainer, right?
In Scenario A, I’d get a boring, banal, disjointed, frustrated summation of something. I’d be painful. Why? Because you weren’t really watching the movie. You were catching mere glimpses of it through the filter of a damn notebook.
In Scenario B, you were there. You’d be able to quickly, off the cuff, wax eloquently in hi-def about the movie. You’d launch into a beautifully passionate story of how incredible it was. You might even go into how it connected with you on a personal level, etc. Basically, you’d be having me wanting to see the damn movie (unlike Scenario A, where I’d likely want to scratch my eyeballs out with a broken clothes hanger rather than watch it).
Ideas and inspiration are crucial as a writer. Without them, we’re nothing. They’re our fuel.
This last year, I’ve been going around with a notepad a lot. I’m glad I did, because it was probably necessary as a newbee blogger. In a sense, I feel it helped me engage with my life more intensely. This year, I want to switch it up.
I want to ditch the notepad and be fully present to my life.
This is scary as a writer. What if I miss something? What if I forget?
Well, if it’s forgettable and missable, maybe it’s not worth sharing either. I think I’d rather throw caution to the wind and rely on the notion that I can (hopefully) be present enough to the point where it makes note-taking unnecessary.
I’ll be leaving the notepad at home and just living. Practicing my presence, if you will. The notepad lives at the end of the day, not in the middle of it.
Off the cuff is where I want to live. Not with my nose up a notepad.