I used to have one of these. It was a box with index cards on which I would note my excess ideas while writing. I would just throw them in there and then later, when stuck, choose one at random to start me going again, or on break, look at them all to see what sort of pattern they might make on their own. At some point I relinquished this habit.

“…I was losing…my ability to find an emotional center from which to write because I was constantly accommodating myself to other people’s emotional centers,” someone said.



4 thoughts on “Pensieve

  1. I had never heard this term (pensieve) but I like both the description at the link and your index card idea. Are you thinking of doing this again?

    This is sort of what I’m doing with the Moleskine now–putting random thoughts in it, on paper, so that I can leaf through and see ideas right there instead of hunting for them as written on the computer. The Moleskine is now a portmanteau of all the ideas, rough draft writing, etc. instead of being saved for something special.

    1. Maybe I should do that. I am not sure I want a card box again but hunting through on the computer is not working entirely well, although one thinks it should. But does this mean you do everything by hand? I also have various notebooks in which I wrote ideas during different eras, but then do not look at them and do not know how to organize them. Is there a trick to your Moleskine notebook?

      1. It’s not a perfect system, but I write things in the Moleskine and then transfer them if they’re part of a draft. It’s easier to grab an actual paper book and write in it than to open the computer, open the document, etc. What usually happens is that I get impatient and open up the computer anyway, but the Moleskine is low-stakes writing, so I don’t get as avoidant as usual.

  2. Some ideas I make note of and then let them fade and disappear.. Others I work on and elaborate, if they seem worth it.

    Right now it’s images, rather than words, on my Buddha Board. It’s a great medium for me.

    When I do any “obligatory” uncreative work I try not to focus very hard on it, and it usually comes out OK.

    We are all way over-programmed and need ways to escape the bonds on our creativity.

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