Basically my memory is so bad that I have to write everything down. I am pretty good with direction and spaces and places. Finding my way around a city is never a problem. Visual and spatial, I am cool there. And I am OK with numbers. I can do mental arithmetic, thirteen times seventeen divided by four, I can do that. But the rest, oh boy, it just slips away. Ideas, thoughts, reasons, names, words and sentences, they have a life of their own and often they don’t seem to include me. They are everywhere and I am nowhere.
But once I start writing, everything gels, starts to make sense (or no sense) and I can move through the ideas into something bigger. A story. Stories are the way I shape the unstructured mess that bounces around in my head. Brainstorming is not for me, my brain gets stuck on the first thought and I cannot move past it until I have written it down, tried different versions of it to see what it is and only then does it trigger the next idea. If I can’t write, I can’t think.
So, without writing I am pretty useless, except maybe as a taxi driver. I guess that is the real reason why I write: I don’t like to be useless.
—Charles den Tex