A Home for My Mind-y Unwind-ies
Updated: Feb 4, 2020
Is a visual reference for my mind palace a good idea?
A few months ago I started using the free version of https://milanote.com/ to organize my writing, references, ideas, a writing prayer, self - care tools, and my 30 year plan. A lot you might say. The STUFF in my brain has to go somewhere and whatever I can do to get it out of my head and onto my computer, the better.
"Pattie, how do you live with all those thoughts in your brain?" -- one of my therapists
Is Milanote making me more productive? Not necessarily. That's up to me and how I manage my time. But I do get a great deal of pleasure from looking at it. There are so many different colors, groovy images, reminders of what I thought was important at the time, and look -- all the cool titles of the plays I have to edit or finish. Remarkably, I don't feel overwhelmed looking at this. I feel a sense of accomplishment. And a great deal of relief that none of these things are stored in the - last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark (really Citizen Kane) part of my brain - never to be retrieved again.
I also use Pinterest to record the films and television I watch in 2019, and the articles and books I read.
I journal every day about the day before. When I journal I look back at my social media tweets and posts to see if anything triggers an idea for a blog or better yet a play. I also review any blogs or articles I may have emailed to myself. Journaling gives me a clarity of my opinions and feelings that I would otherwise not recall. Blogging does that as well.
Alzheimer's disease runs in both sides of my family and I worry about forgetting. I'm also a daydreamer that can check out with the best of them. I inherited this from my father. One Sunday, when we were living in Maryland and he was working at the Pentagon, he'd gone out to look at car lots. They used to be closed on Sundays and you didn't have to deal with the sales people. On this particular Sunday he ended up a the Pentagon parking lot not really remembering how he'd gotten there. He'd daydreamed the whole hour.
I'm all for daydreaming but I also want to remember those thoughts and make room for more.
Options like Milanote, social media, and just good old fashion analog journaling help me to do just that. When I land on an idea for a character or a line or a plot point it gives my work, in that moment, a breezy clarity making the time I put into archiving my days worth the effort.