I don't know how many other writers are like this, but I hardly ever write anything down. I don't have a notebook full of ideas that I carry around with me, and I never seem to have a pen handy. I don't think this is a good thing, mind you--in fact I think it's stupid. I can't tell you how many good ideas I've gotten and forgotten--I think my stories would be more varied, my novels more detailed, if I could actually manage to keep a notebook and pen in my pocket.
I do keep notebooks for each novel I write--I use these narrow-ruled, slightly-less-than-letter-sized, cream-colored, spiral-bound notebooks for that...I bought like twenty of them ten years ago for this purpose. But if you look at them in chronological order, over the six novels I've written (one is unpublished), the amount of stuff in them gets progressively smaller. The novel I'm finishing now, I never even started a notebook for.
Again, bad thing? I think it is. I don't have any evidence for this opinion, though. I think I'm just lazy and impatient, and I fill my head up with too much useless crap. Perhaps next time around I should go back to the old way--fill a notebook with ideas, and carry around one of those sexy little Moleskine jobbers for incidental jottings and bursts of inspiration. But I probably won't. I will probably go off half-cocked as usual and just sit down and start making shit up. Just thinking about taking notes makes me cringe right now. Why on earth would that be?
There is one place, however, where I do take notes, and that's in bed--I suppose it's there that my mind is clearest, and something good often comes to me there. Back in the day, I used to accomplish this by groping on the bedside table in he dark for some random scrap of paper (usually the bookmark in whatever I happened to be reading, which I then sacrificed for the cause) and a pencil, then scribbling blindly there, and hoping I'd be able to read it in the morning. But nowadays I use one of these. Rhian's mom, a closeted novelist, got it for me. I rolled my eyes when I saw it--it seemed so terribly Levengeresque--but it turns out it's amazing. You pull the pen out, and the light comes on--and your note cards are right there for you. Unfortunately the note cards it comes with are hideously adorned with moons and stars, but I'll run out in about 2014 and will get to replace them with plain white ones. After six years, by the way, the batteries are still going strong!
One of these days I ought to get a shrink to tell me why I never take notes--in the daytime, anyway. It feels almost like a test of my ideas--if they're not good enough to stick in my mind without assistance, they're not worth having. Or maybe that's just letting myself off the hook.
That's it! I'm going to do it! I'm going to take some goddam notes!