Notes… I can’t stop taking them!
So much so, that I have amassed a grand total of 3435 of them on my iPhone Notes app alone!
The entries range from full-blown articles (some published, some not) to hurriedly written jottings, too many of which have a rather annoying habit of losing their meaning, once the initial train of thought they arrived upon, has chugged off into obscurity.
As an example, I woke up this morning and checked my drafts, only to find an ambiguous and wholly-unfamiliar scrawling that read, quite simply…
‘Careless whisper bus.’
I read it again, and then again, but all that came to mind was…WTF!
In this moment, the only thing more uncomfortable than the confusion, was the fear at never being able to remember what it was that was clearly important enough (or amazing enough) to warrant being committed to digital ink!
Eventually, and after much time, procrastination (and coffee)….it suddenly dawned how the previous evening, whilst casually watching an old re-run of Top of The Pops, I had been so taken with a particular ‘fun fact’ about George Michael, that I’d hurriedly and half-concentratingly pocketed it for blog fodder, barely registering it as I did.
These moments of auto-pilot annotation have become a character quirk which, to an outsider looking in, might be easily confused with smartphone addiction.
To the contrary, however, there’s something purposive (therapeutic even) behind all that ‘mindless’ tap-tapping exterior. Something that leaves the mind feeling lighter…even if the phone memory does get heavier for it!
This affliction - the one of needing to editorialise the everyday - it’s had its professional perks, but most of all, it’s helped make me more cognizant in what it is, exactly, that makes my busy brain tick!
What that is, among other things, is an unlikely success story, like the one that ‘Careless Whisper bus’ is shorthand for.
You’re probably wondering, first off, what public transport could possibly have to do with a 90s pop classic?
Well, let me enlighten you.
It turns out, George wrote the hit whilst riding on a bus, aged 17. Now I appreciate the relevance of this is quite niche, but to me, it’s evidence of something significant. That is, that creativity thrives in the most unlikely of places, many of which are ironically often the antithesis of ‘inspiring.’
I wonder about this paradox, as I stand here, surrounded by tuna pasta bake remnants, a washing basket full of needing-to-be-hung uniforms and an unrelenting soundtrack of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
It’s a far cry from the ‘writers studio’ at the bottom of the garden, which I imagined to be entirely necessary to carving out any sort of career as a wordsmith.
As it turns out, there’s no tweeting birds, no tidy desk, and certainly no head space to credit for any of my blogs.
I’m not saying that any of these written works are in any way on a par with Careless Whisper, or that my home is comparable to a bus, but the half-similarity has come as a poignant reminder, not to blame any future bouts of writers block on the absence of a designated creative space (either in time, or geography.)
Instead, I will from-now-on endeavour to reframe the ever-presence of interruption - and absence of any form of 'office' ergonomics - as both a blessing in disguise, AND a potentially inspiring backstory to some as-yet-unwritten masterpiece.