Last spring I read a review of a new TV-series in one of the major Swedish newspapers. I don’t remember the actual arguments in the review, or ever watching the show it was about. All I know is that I wrote down a few sentences about it. This is what I do; I litter sentences all over the place. It’s becoming a problem because I keep meeting them in documents with strange names. My laptop is filled with random word documents, a lot of them filled with really poor ideas, really poor writing.
Sometimes there’s quotes I must have thought was clever, but since they’ve lost their context they normally looks quite plane, like one of those sentences you underline in a book. And then when you go back, you realize it wasn’t very insightful on it’s own, that it’s brilliance was in it’s place in the book, that it put words to a feeling you can’t repeat by simply reading the sentence on its own.
Woody Allen, a personal hero, keeps all his notes with ideas for movies in a drawer next to his bed. When he starts a new project he takes them all out and goes through them to see if there is anything in there he can use. If I had a drawer next to my bed, perhaps I would do something similar. But since I am a modern man without drawer next to my bed, I write these snippets in word documents which I then forget to name correctly. Then I move on and the idea get lost in all the other sentences and documents. Perhaps I need to go analogue with my note taking.
For more on Woody Allen and the drawer where he keeps his notes I warmly recommend the recent documentary “Woody Allen: A Documentary”.