Taking note

"It’s getting late, for scribbling and scratching on the paper
Somethings going to give under this pressure
And the cracks are already beginning to show."

from Marillion "Bitter Suite"

It’s amazing how much information you jot down in this biz. And yet I’m not a serious note taker. Never have been. I have a great memory for things that interest me. So much so that even in school I didn’t take a lot of notes. However there are loads of things that as a journalist you can’t allow your memory to get the least bit wrong. Names for instance. Or important quotes from a subject – details that can really help you broaden your story. Gotta write ’em down.

So I came across a box that I haven’t opened since the wife and I moved almost 3 years ago and it in I found a few old notebooks.


I flipped through them and almost none of the notes seem to mean anything to me anymore. Names, telephone numbers and addresses, some quotes and details that seem totally irrelevant and disconnected to any memory. I tried loads of ways to keep the info written in a way that makes sense after the fact but it’s really hard to do when each book contains notes for maybe 50 or so assignments. Gad!

However the first page that I opened had a note about shooting a guy who I was scheduled to photograph the day after I opened up that box. How strange is that? How often have you opened up an old day planner to see an entry that says something like "Nelson Diaz, tomorrow 1900 Pike Road @ 9:30" and you have in fact to see Nelson Diaz tomorrow! Zam!

So now my procedure is to take a photo of each notebook page after I’ve completed it so that the file is embedded with all the photos from the shoot. It keeps everything together and makes my life/work easier. But that pile of notes makes me think of all the people and places that I’ve been to and how they all have importance even if I can’t put a face to "Amy Lechman" or "Jessica Wallace in red hat".

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