The Perfect Blog

Wendy Lawton

Blogger: Wendy Lawton


I planned the perfect blog for you today. I was in the kitchen preparing a meal when it came to me. So very creative and I knew it would interest our blog readers. As I continued to chop and braise, I thought of all the different points and connections I wanted to make and how I would link them together. It made me smile to have it all mapped out in my mind. The. Perfect. Blog.

Guess what? I can’t remember a single detail of that perfect blog.

I can remember where I was when I was planning it, what I was doing, how happy it made me. After all, it was to be the perfect blog. I pictured all the different individuals in our blog community who might benefit from it.

I have an excuse, having three different auto-immune diseases– all of which have brain fog as a side effect– but I usually write everything down and rely on my well-honed systems so that, hopefully, that fog never encroaches on my professional life. But when you are elbow deep in supper preparation and you’re in a room far away from your office, you convince yourself you will remember. Of course you’ll remember– it’s brilliant! (That much I do remember. It was brilliant.)

Yeah, right.

I know this has happened to many of my friends and clients. How many times have I heard:

“I just finished the best writing of my entire life and the power went out before I saved it. Now I can’t even remember why it was so good.”

“I woke up in the middle of the night with the plot completely worked out in my mind. I knew I wouldn’t remember everything so I managed to find a stub of a pencil in my nightstand and spent the next hour and a half writing every single plot point down. I couldn’t turn on the light because Hubs gets up so early in the morning he needs uninterrupted sleep. The next day I grabbed the scrap on which I scribbled my ideas and I could not make out a single sentence let alone follow the meandering lines of my script.”

“Why is it I have the best ideas in the shower? By the time I’ve rinsed my hair and toweled myself dry–POOF!– the ideas have disappeared in the steam.”

So now it’s your turn. Make us all feel better. Tell us your tale of losing the perfect idea, the perfect article, the perfect book idea, the perfect scene, the perfect. . . well, you know.


32 Responses

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  1. Sure, Wendy, I’ll have a lash at making everyone feel better…and I will be praying for YOU, dear brave heart. AI disorders are a major bummer.
    * The God who collects each tear we shed is quick to grab the dreams we drop, before they shatter on the ground, and He records the words we forget before the vanish in the ether.
    * And we will one day meet Him, and He will be literally dancing with delight, as our dreams are brought alive again to feel the touch of our loving hands, and the words we thought lost are written broad in Heaven’s empyrean, traced in fire by laughing angels.

    • What a wonderful reminder – that though we may forget, He doesn’t. Well said, Andrew!

    • I have only been following this blog a short while, but I have quickly discovered you are a man of wit, wisdom, encouragement. Thanks for your words and reminder. I loved the idea that Hod has recorded them for us.

    • Andrew, you have such a way of pointing us to the Main Thing. Thank you for your words of life and encouragement, friend. They minister to many hearts.

    • Oh, Andrew that is so well put, AND is so encouraging. It reminds me of the verse that basically says what was spoken in secret will be made known. I love that He will have all those forgotten or lost ideas. There is probably a very large library we can go to in order to finish all those great stories. Thank you Andrew.

  2. I don’t know whether I’m cursed or blessed in the fact that usually when I’ve forgotten “the perfect” something, I also forget that I ever thought it in the first place. I suppose you can’t mourn what you don’t know you lost.

  3. My best blog ideas seem to come while I am driving (I pray while I drive–perhaps I should say my best ideas come while I am praying). I keep a little notebook and pencil close at hand, and I scribble just a word or two while keeping my eyes on the road. The act of writing it, even if I can’t read it later, keeps the idea from sliding into the netherworld.
    **When the great concept is truly gone, I pray, “Spirit of God, if I’m to write it, I have to remember it.” If that doesn’t link me back, I think maybe the idea wasn’t so great after all.
    **Father, fill Wendy’s brain with your wisdom: Lord Jesus, give her body peace with itself; Spirit, breathe your power into her today and every day. Amen.

  4. Beth Durham says:

    Wendy! I am so sorry this happened to you… Yet somehow validated that it’s not just me.
    I always get the best ideas when I’m driving… On my way to an appointment I really need too keep. Thank The Good Lord for the voice-recorder on my phone! Now I even have an Amazon echo in my house which isn’t exactly setup for the perfect blog idea, but I’d stand there and talk to that machine if I got inspired while cooking.

  5. I am right there with you, and because I am a mom and caregiver to other family members I am often in my car driving when inspiration hits. Talk to text is a beautiful thing (in those rare moments alone) unless you have enough of a southern twang that both Siri and the talk to text program think you are saying something completely different. I can’t tell you how many times I have texted myself something that made no sense whatsoever. So many brilliant ideas lost to garbled messes. You are not alone, Wendy. Post-it notes, index cards, notes on my phone-and sometimes even my hands- are my main coping mechanisms. What tools do you use? Any I can borrow to be more effective since my accent is a barrier?

  6. Joy Kidney says:

    I’ve been having cryotherapy (yes, cold therapy) for fibromyalgia pain (yes, it’s helped), so decided to try a cryofacial for brain fog (told them to leave my wrinkles alone, that I’d earned them). Hey, it’s helped me feel more alert! I concentrate better and longer. But, yes, I still need to write everything down.

  7. David Todd says:

    If I could remember it, I’d have nothing to tell. Since I can’t remember it, I still have nothing to tell.

  8. Awww, Wendy. I’ve been there. I’ve lost amazing ideas while driving, while chopping onions, while on a walk. I’ve started to use my voice memos app on my phone. If I can’t stop to write it down, I voice record it . . . Unless I’m in the shower, then I pray I’ll remember it.
    *which reminds me. I need to write down a blog post idea that came while I was in the shower.
    *I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Wendy!

  9. I can’t remember completely losing something … yet … because I just can’t remember. Lol. Usually, I write things down and usually, even through my nighttime scribble, I’m able to make out one word. That one word plus a little time … if I just wait a little bit and usually when I least expect it, I’ll grab the rope to another word, and I’ll pull and pull and eventually enough of the sentence or idea will come back to me that I’m almost back where I started. 🙂 Usually. 🙂

  10. Oh my goodness. I have too many of these to share! LOL And, of course, I’ve forgotten half of them anyway. 😀

    But, I do remember when the idea for my second book hit me. It came out of the blue, and the entire first chapter was instantly there in my mind. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of the night and I thought, “This is so brilliant, of course I’ll remember it!” We all know how that turned out. Even now, a year or so later, just snippets are there.

  11. Wendy, I’ve been there so many times. Ideas often come to me when I’m out walking with my husband. Because we’re both struggling with the usual short-term memory loss that comes with gray hair, we are of little help to each other. Sometimes I’ll ask him to remember one phrase while I remember another one. Rarely do either of us remember. I’m still wondering about an idea I recently lost somewhere between the kitchen and my writing room. But last week something cool happened. I was inspired about a topic during a sermon, so I made notes. When I got home, I told my husband how excited I was to write about it. He agreed it was a good topic. Then I forgot about my notes, forgot about the topic, and would probably still have forgotten about it until I read a tweet Beth Moore posted. I mentioned the tweet to my husband and he said, “Isn’t that what you were planning to blog about?”
    Bless his handy and handsome heart—I’ve now written it. It won’t go live for a few weeks since I have to submit podcasts in advance–but it’s a from-the-heart one I obviously wasn’t supposed to forget. God’s still in control of our gray matter when what we’ve forgotten matters to Him. Got to love God, husbands, and notebooks.
    Thanks for the fun reminder I’m not alone in needing pen and paper nearby.
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  12. Wendy, you are CERTAINLY not alone! My forgettory works much better than my memory, possibly because my brain is so full of wisdom and knowledge a little overflows and gets lost sometimes. 😉
    But maybe the things we forget weren’t meant to be written, at least not at this time. God knows better than we do about how to run the Universe.

  13. Joanne Reese says:

    You are in good company, Wendy. I can’t think of an example because it has managed to evaporate with the original idea. I read recently that memories can be recalled through sensory detail. Perhaps if you prepare the same dish you were making when the inspiration sparked, the idea might return.

  14. A middle of the night poem … that I knew was probably the first truly good poetry I’d ever written … gone because I didn’t get up and write it down. I thought I’d remember it in the morning. Fool that I was.

  15. I also write indescipherable scribbles to myself in the middle of the night. But what I do most often, is fail to write down some hilarious thing one of my three sons says or does. They are so funny … but then when you try to think of it … . Thankfully, I have gotten quite a few of them down and onto my blog. Like a new adjective my youngest invented “sneaky cowing” which is when someone leaps out of hiding and smashes down on top of someone else while shouting “Sneaky Cow!” But there are many that I have forgotten, they seem to just disappear in an instant. Thank goodness for napkins and the backs of my hands where I write so many notes to myself, otherwise I’d be sunk.

    • Kristen, I do the napkin notes too because they’re handy in my vehicle when I can’t find the little notebook for writing down ideas. Now I have to check every napkin in my car and sitting on my table in case it has the all inspiring idea.😊

  16. Thank-you Wendy for this post, and I can sympathize with your autoimmune disorders and brain fog. I have several dear friends that also have to live with autoimmune conditions. Oh my though, you can certainly see by the posts we are all basically in the same boat. I had to laugh and giggle while reading some of the comments. I have certainly lost ideas both during the day and night at all different times, doing all different things. I usually write the ideas down and then put them in a commom place like a basket. Trouble is I’m not sure where all those special places are. I know of two places I TRY to pit them in, but I usually find them placed in a temporary “holding spot.” I know I had some great idea the other day that was really exciting, but alas it was in the wee hours of the morning. I meant to get up and right it down as I was turning it over in my head, but instead I eventually turned over and fell asleep. When I woke up it was gone, and it wasn’t until the afternoon when I remembered I had had a great idea but I still can’t remember or figure out what it was. Thank God his Holy Spirit is always full of creativity and can give us reminders or new ideas perhaps just as good or better. I don’t worry about it though. I tell the Lord if He wants me to write about it He will have to bring it to mind again.

    May you and all those at Books and Such, as well as all of you posting have a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope to read the blog and comment tomorrow, but if I don’t just know I’m deep into cooking, baking,and cleaning for Thursday, but of course I’ll have a notepad and pen nearby. Blessings to you all!

  17. Mary R. P. Schutter says:

    Wendy, thank you for this blog topic. It hit home with me. I too have several autoimmune conditions and know well the brain fog and fleeting memory. Combine my autoimmune issues with ADHD, and you have little ol’ me, a flighty grandmother who bustles around but can’t recall why. LOL. I’ve found that if I keep note pads and writing implements in many rooms of the house on which to jot thoughts that might lead to stories or poems, it greatly lessens my frustration. For some folks, word association helps them remember, but this doesn’t work well for me. My brain flits from one thing to another constantly. I have found my smartphone invaluable in immediately capturing ideas before they disappear forever. I downloaded a memo app and put it on my phone’s home page to jot things down as I think of them. The same memo app allows me to verbally record ideas if I don’t have time to type them. I hope that using some of my memory aids will assist others in their quest to preserve those wonderful thoughts we all have as writers.

  18. Cindy Payne says:

    When I drive, I think of a catchy phrase, or read a church marquee, process through an entire blog post or article. Even formulate the graphics I want to use. But, as soon as I park the car and close the door – poof! It’s gone. Sometimes I remember the phrase. I’ve decided this is God’s way of keeping me company, and awake, while I drive.

  19. Jann Martin says:

    Been there done that. I have paper and pencil on my nightstand. I write notes, sometimes I can read them sometimes not. I’ll be out driving somewhere and can’t catch a stop light, when I finally do I can’t remember what the story idea was. Dear God, please help me to remember the thoughts you give me. Amen.

  20. Of course I never forget anything. In case you can’t tell, I write fiction, so that doesn’t count as a lie. 😉

  21. Karen says:

    Oh, boy. This has happened to me more often than I’d like to admit! I even thought of using the recorder on my iPhone but think I’ll remember. Even within a minute it can be gone!

  22. Jodi Bracken says:

    More than once I have lost sleep because of this! I will be in bed and almost asleep when inspiration will strike. A few times, I have thought to myself, “This is great! I will write this down first thing in the morning!” Then, of course, by morning I had forgotten absolutely everything. Now, it doesnt matter what time it is, or what I have to do in the morning. If inspiration strikes, I am out of bed and writing or typing everything out!