Usually I have other stuff going on. Often it happens while I’m watching TV, or falling asleep, or reading. By the time I have realized I have a writable thought, I am distracted by whatever it is I’m doing that seems at the time to be more important.
Also, I often think it’s such a good idea that I will absolutely, unfailingly remember it. But I don’t. The thought goes away and nothing will bring it back.
This has happened so often that I think I can game it. I can write down a word or two and recall the whole brilliant conception a day or two later. Then I look at my notes and they say things like “everyone does it” or “library fines” and I wonder what I was thinking.
The worst notes are the ones I write on the pad by my bed. I try to write down an idea in the dark so that I won’t fully wake up. Somehow, the brilliant nocturnal musing turns into barely decipherable scrawl. Even when I decipher it, it doesn’t seem like such a good writing topic.
I like to think that one day I will be reunited with all my wonderful ideas. If there is an afterlife, that’s what I want in mine. That, and my memory. And wine.
…Oh, wait a minute. I think I just figured out my problem.