Usually, I pat myself on the back for writing my first drafts in longhand. I fill notebook after notebook. I’m a big fan of cursive and just love the way pen feels as it loops and drags across paper. And my mind operates differently with pen in hand than it does with fingers on my keyboard.
But today, I am cranky because of my longhand habit.
An editor reached out to me about an article. I told her I have the perfect personal essay to suit her needs. All I need to do is find it.
Just in case I’d typed it up already – I suspected I hadn’t but wasn’t entirely sure – I searched my hard drive. Zilch.
I thought, “Maybe I wrote about it in an email to my sister or something,” so I searched my “Sent” box. Nada.
“No problem,” I thought. “I’ll just find the notebook I wrote in last summer.”
I have found lots and lots of notebooks – but not the one I journaled in last summer.
If you hear something while reading this post, it’s probably the sound of my head hitting my desk. Tomorrow I get to dig around some more, and then – if totally desperate – I’ll have to reconstruct the entire incident I want to write about.
Lesson learned: if you want to keep journals and notebooks full of lovely cursive first drafts, organize those journals and notebooks.