Don’t just write it down…

Posted on January 7, 2011


There is an episode of Seinfeld, the show about nothing, where Jerry has a funny idea occur to him during the night, writes it down, then spends the rest of the episode trying to work out what he actually wrote.

I am sure every writer has experienced the frustration of having that great idea pop into their head, failing to write it down and afterward not being able to remember what it actually was. Hence the thought that it is always a good idea to have a pen and paper handy. I first got into the practice while at uni, of keeping the pen and paper handy on the bedside table. All too often the solution to the latest problem for a taxation tutorial or computer programming would occur to me during the night and I saved them by scribbling something down.

One of my vanities (curiosities, eccentricities) is writing comedy routines for my alter ego, Teddy Rant. I came up with one the other evening and scribbled out a rough outline. Earlier today I sat down to do something with the idea. It generally makes sense and is humorous but there, right in the middle of a seemingly key passage, is a string of incomprehensible scribble.

What on earth does that scribble mean? Where’s my George Kostanza or Elaine Bennis to help me out. I wonder if sending a copy of it to Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Elaine) would be of any help? Doubtful, but it at least it gave me an excuse to briefly think about the lovely JLD as a pleasant distraction.

So the moral of the story is don’t just write it down, write it down so it makes sense afterwards!

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