Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Remember


I’ve heard on more than one occasion that being a senior is not for the fainthearted. If you’ve survived long enough to get an AARP card, or even past that and gone on to handle the Medicare maze as I have, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, you’ll learn soon enough. It may seem far away, but you’d be surprised how fast the years fly by.

Being a senior author poses its own challenges. These days you not only need to operate writing equipment, such as a computer, printer, mouse, backup drive, and so forth, but also remember afterward how you did it so you can do it again. 

That’s not all. Along with all the ins and outs of creating a great book, you're also expected to discover and implement ways to promote that book and others you've written. You host your own website and interact on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Blogger and Wordpress. While you're at it, you keep track of your unique passwords, since using only one password for everything is dangerous.

It's not easy, but it's still necessary to keep track of when and what you’re doing, on and offline, how and when to interact with special people, including friends you favor, those you can help, even those who might be beneficial to you in some way.

What about remembering names, even faces connected with those names? That's never been easy for me, but now it’s even more difficult.

Then there's the matter of book reviews. Once I’ve read a book, for the most part it’s out of my mind. I might remember I enjoyed it, but unless prompted, the details escape me. These days my mind only has room for so much, and my current read commands attention. You might ask what’s so bad about that? Well, try doing a book review about a book you read a month ago. Some of you can do that with no problem, but it’s not easy for me.

For those in my boat, I offer some tips:

·        1. Make lists and keep them in a folder on and offline. One list might be your passwords for social networks, blogs, tweets or book blurbs, even the voice mail number on your cell phone. Anything new or difficult is a great candidate for a list. That way you won't have to go backward to Step One again to figure it out, or resort to Google. Crazy me bought a new laptop with Windows 7 and Microsoft Word 2013, after years of Windows XP and Microsoft Word 2007. I bought a new smartphone a week later, so I have lots of things to figure out and remember. I'd be lost without lists.
·         2. Get a desktop calendar and use it to mark important events, such as your blogging day, a day you’re hosting someone on your blog, a retweeting day, or anything else you need to remember. I not only mark writing events on that calendar, but also personal events, such as birthdays. Often, the personal and writing events intersect, and that needs to be taken into account when making commitments. Half the battle is having that calendar in front of you. The other half is remembering to look down at it and notice what’s going on that day and in the future.
·         3. Develop habits. The more often you do something, the easier it will be, such as looking down at that calendar on the desk, or maintaining connections with special people. Visit the groups, blogs, or other spots, as often as possible, to share experiences and remember others.
·         4. About that book you want to review: Jot down a few pertinent notes either during or immediately after reading the book to keep your memory fresh.

Okay, those are my tips. Now it's your turn. What aids can you offer for the memory impaired, such as me?


Experience the diversity & versatility of Morgan Mandel. For romantic comedy: Her Handyman & Girl of My Dreams. Thriller: Forever Young: Blessing or CurseShort Stories Sequel: the Blessing or Curse CollectionRomantic suspense: Killer Career. Mystery: Two Wrongs. Twitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com Chick Lit Faves 

31 comments :

  1. As a longtime member of the decidedly aged, I couldn't help but chuckle at how adaptable we must become to maintain a semblance of our past level of mental acuity.

    Writing things down is an absolute must for me, and so is choosing the most effective time to work. Mid mornings are good, as is 4 or 5 a.m. — after several hours of sleep. Distractions are fewer in the wee hours, and concentration comes more easily.

    As everyone in this blog knows, my computer skills are questionable at best and downright scary at worst. They're improving, but that forward progress is frustratingly slow. (In fairness, I must note that my resistance to all things electronic comes from a time prior to my qualifying for seasoned citizenship — my first computer [in the 1980s] was a challenging Radio Shack model with a trs.dos [fondly known as trash dos] operating system. Those were the days...)

    On the other hand, lists — a wonderful idea — elude me. They obviously come with legs because they scamper off to parts unknown as soon as I put them in a safe place.

    Looking at the brighter side...my own writing has matured (or so it seems to me), and my patience with others whose works I edit has mellowed into a nurturing mentality. These are good things...I think.

    Great post, Morgan! You made my Wednesday. :-)

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    Replies
    1. I seem to lose my lists too. And when I find them, sometimes ages later, they make no sense to me! Very spooky.

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  2. Linda, I had a Tandy computer, one of the first. The DH and I used it mainly to play Scrabble!

    I love that expression of lists with legs. That perfectly fits mine!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

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  3. I had a couple more ideas for you, Morgan ... but I forgot them.

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    Replies
    1. I believe you, Christopher. Happens to me all the time. (g)

      Morgan Mandel
      http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

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  4. I love what Christopher said. :o) I find making lists are great for remembering things, the problem is, I forget to make the lists.

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes I want to make a list, but I forget where I left a pen or a pad of paper.

      Morgan Mandel
      http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

      Delete
  5. My instant recall is sketchy these days. I can forget a piece of information when moving it from one screen to the next. So, I live by paper post-its and the Sticky Notes program that comes with Windows 7. I've also learned Windows 7 has a terrific little tool called "Snipping Tool" which allows you to capture images from the screen and save them to your hard drive. I can forget the title of a book the minute I finish reading it, so I leave it sitting by my computer until I've mentioned or reviewed it. I try to mention every book I read on Facebook and Twitter, and should be more diligent about reviewing on Amazon. I also try to connect with the authors of books I liked so I know when their next title is coming out. That is the main thing I'd say Facebook and Twitter are useful for. You want to make it easy for fans to find you and remember you! When you announce your next book (and a link to purchase it), they can put that on their post it note and buy it!

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    Replies
    1. Diana, I love the snipping tool! I think Windows8 has it too. As soon as I find my W8 laptop, I'll go check. LOL.

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  6. I couldn't survive without Dropbox [ http://db.tt/4iTieiPM ]. It lets me access and sync my files across both laptops, my Kindle Fire and my Android phone. I can also share files easily (my formatter and I exchange them in shared folders).

    I use Jarte Pro for my text/rtf editing and have a gazillion note files. Yup, keep them in Dropbox. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the free Dropbox, but right now it's cluttered with some stuff the DH wanted me to download. One of these days, I have to find a way to clear it out and get it over to his computer.

      Morgan Mandel
      http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

      Delete
  7. Loved your post, and could relate! I am amazed how many things we writers must juggle in an attempt to stay current. The "old ways" in which an author managed his/her career are gone, for many of us, and its a challenge to keep the train on the track these days. Lists are my most important tool for everything these days. Thanks for a fun blog.

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    Replies
    1. I love your analogy about keeping the train on the track, Barbara!

      Morgan Mandel
      http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

      Delete
  8. Women make lists; it's part of our nature. I think it gives us a sense of control over our busy lives. Men don't tend to make lists, have you noticed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My DH has wised up and started making lists for what needs doing each do. There's hope for men yet!

      Morgan Mandel
      http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

      Delete
  9. How's this for impaired. Whenever we go out-of-town, I hide my laptops. Over the weekend, I hid the one I edit on somewhere new... and now I can't remember where and can't find it. Heaven help me. "Tony, Tony, come around/Something's lost and can't be found."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And one thing I relentlessly forget in my old age is the question mark at the end of a questioning sentence. Sigh.

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    2. Tony is very helpful, but doesn't always come through immediately. Maybe he's asleep then.

      Morgan Mandel
      http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

      Delete
    3. About those question marks at the end of sentences. I hate it when an author puts one there when it's not really a question.

      Morgan Mandel

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  10. We have enough humorous responses in this post to put together another post - this sounds like a job for Elspeth!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here's something to copy and paste and ponder. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-walking-through-doorway-makes-you-forget

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  12. Ah, and I thought it was only me...
    I've found that I do need to keep a notebook of things I've sent people, and what they've sent me (the beta readers esp), and some other things. It's figuring out which note book they're in LOL!

    So glad someone else posted this. I don't feel so all alone. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yeah... those endless notebooks. Wow, I can relate to that!

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    2. Yes, I belong to the more than one notebook club also! What I'm looking for is usually in the notebook I can't find.


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  13. So grateful. Yes, I'm a senior at 67. But this weekend I was told again what an amazing memory I have. It's true, and I have to credit my mother. You see, she had selective memory: if it was bad, it never happened. For years, my brother and I had to do reality checks. I'd call him and ask, "Remember when we...?" He'd respond not only with an affirmative, but also additional details I hadn't come up with. Our mother insisted it never happened. I've always been good with names as well. I know I really had nothing to do with it, but I'm grateful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorna,
      Your Mom was wise. Unfortunately, I'm the opposite. I remember too many of the bad things and not enough of the good!

      And names I try, but it's hopeless!

      Delete
  14. I couldn't survive without Dropbox [ http://db.tt/4iTieiPM ]. It lets me access and sync my files across both laptops, my Kindle Fire and my Android phone. I can also share files easily (my formatter and I exchange them in shared folders).

    I use Jarte Pro for my text/rtf editing and have a gazillion note files. Yup, keep them in Dropbox. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dropbox is a handy program.

      Morgan Mandel
      http://bookbeatbabes.blogspot.com

      Delete
  15. Those are some of the very things I have to remember when I go to write, particularly the lists and calendar thing.

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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