Writers’ Dementia

I totally forgot that today is my day to post here. On the rare times that I remember, I get it done one or two or even three days earlier, and use the handy little scheduling tool to set it to post automatically.

But this time I forgot. Again.

I suffer from Writers’ Dementia. I forget things in real life on a regular basis. Second notice on a bill? Pick up the mail at the post office? Buy groceries? Oops. Forgot. Leave wet clothes in the washer for three days? Neglect to put out the trash three weeks running? Run an errand without realizing that my clothes don’t match and I haven’t combed my hair? That’s me.

And yet ask me a question about the hero and the heroine of my current work, and I can answer it without thinking. I know where they are, what they’re doing, what they’re feeling and thinking and what they’re gonna do in the next chapter. They never forget to pay a bill or schedule a vet appointment for their puppers or write a blog. I keep their lives — their lovely, problem-laden, complicated lives that DON’T EVEN EXIST ANYWHERE OUTSIDE MY HEAD — in perfect order while I can’t even tell you what day of the week it is in my own real world.

Hmm . . . I just realized what Sophy should have said to Sean when she saw him again for the first time. Better write that down before I get back to whatever the heck I was doing on whatever the heck day of the week it is.

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14 thoughts on “Writers’ Dementia

    • You can, Sandee. You’re a writer. You make things up, and when it’s your creation, you can say anything (or lay blame anywhere) you want. Cool, huh?

      • Marilyn,

        My husband once told someone that I told lies for a living. How fun is that? I started using that line when people asked me to help them on their resumes. I’d tell them that I could make them sound great in a resume, I wrote fiction for fun! spw

      • That’s one of my favorite things about the job, getting to make things up.

        I told one obnoxious person that I killed people at my day job. At least she left me alone after that!

  1. LOL. Important stuff stays with me. I just need someone to take care of all that nonessential stuff like bill-paying and food-shopping for me.:-)

  2. Marilyn,

    Thank you for putting a name to this…now I can tell my family “See, I’m not the only one!” People other than writers, think I’m crazy that I know more about my characters sometimes then I know about the my neighbor. Ha! If they only knew…

    • LOL, Lynn. I can get so lost in my books that I’ll step outside expecting the weather to be whatever it is in the book, and get a big surprise when it’s 30 degrees instead of 90.

  3. I have the acute form of this. This past weekened I have been so scatter-brained. There’s so much stuff crammed in my mind I can’t make room for important stuff like my kids’ names, feeding them… I don’t even recall when they last bathed. Maybe it was the last day of school? I’m not real sure…

    Marilyn, is there a cure? 🙂

    • Hey, school’s out. Who’s gonna notice if the kids smell a little funky?

      For most of us, there’s no cure. But I have heard of a handful of writers who just decided one day that that was it; they’d told every story they were meant to tell, so they gave it up and went on with their lives. I can’t imagine ever running dry of stories or wanting to quit putting them on paper. That’s how I get them out of my head to make room for the new stories — and the occasional water bill or birthday party.

  4. Marilyn,
    Finally an explanation to why I can never remember where my car keys are! But I can tell you where my hero keeps them 🙂

    • That’s so funny, Lua! The majority of my characters are pretty organized — because I’m so disorganized. Maybe I can take a few tips from them and stop losing things all the time.

    • Even if it’s on my calendar, odds that I’ll actually LOOK at the calendar == or even know where to find it — are somewhere between slim and none. I thought I’d come up with a sure-fire way to kee track by setting up a calendar on my desk top that opens every time I get on the computer.

      Yeah. Well, all the little scrips of paper with stuff written on it are in the house, and the desktop’s in the office. And I haven’t worked down there since a few days before the last flood. Big help, huh?

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