Interesting to hear Roger McGough and Pat Kane discussing the Bob Dylan Like a Rolling Stone manuscript on Radio 4 Today this morning. Seeing the process of composition in discards of rhymes and couplets in the handwritten edits. Obviously I’m sensitive to the topic, still reading Clive James Cultural Amnesia, of poetry in writing good prose.
In this case it appears to be the whole process on 4 pages of hotel stationery, from ideas to end result. Noted before – in this blogging context – how capturing notes and then organising, linking, appending, ordering is common to so many writing projects, even meta-notes about the editing process (like this one). Pirsig’s ZMM and Lila index cards spring to mind, but I’ve mentioned other parallels …. so and so was a blogger.
Pat Kane was pointing out how powerful smartphone technology is to the writer / composer – to capture thoughts, notes, sounds and images on the go, and not worry about losing the notes stored on the device and saved in the cloud, even if you lose the device. I use notes on my smartphone in advance of drafting blog posts, but many posts are themselves only holding notes for future composition. I recall in my early engineering days, my mentor Jeff exhorting; Anything interesting, whatever you do write it down, you’ll need it one day. If you don’t you’ll remember remembering, but you wont remember what it is you forgot.
[And a meta-meta-point, I notice I’ve lost some important linking in the current blog theme – it no longer picks up pingbacks & trackbacks from new posts linking to existing …. rats!]