Several comments that you guys made in my last few posts regarding your writing habits, and especially Chris' comment today in this post made me wonder how do you manage to keep all your thoughts together - and I mean the kind of stuff that's not supposed to go in your draft, but comes into your head anyway.
For example, when I am writing a story, there is a lot of note-taking on the side. That's not for the story itself. That's the brain storming. If suddenly it occures to me that my heroine had an accident when she was 5, or that her favourite uncle is Uncle Bob, I write it down. It could be totally irrelevant to what goes in the book, but if I learn that little tid bit about my character, I want to make a note of it.
So for people who don't keep a writing journal or a notes file or whatever, what do you do? Do you just keep all that background information in your head? The act of sitting down and writing 1000 words a day or specific goals like that to move the story ahead, for me, mean actually getting ahead with the book. I don't count the brain-storming time amongst that. In my stories, there are nearly always long stretches of brain storming time required, because I tend to write more fantasy, and therefore I have a lot of world building to do, which is its own challenge.
But even in my "reality" based stories, I end up with piles of notes. Sometimes, I never use them again but they are not wasted, because once I write down something, I remember. I may not always remember where I wrote it, but I always know that oh yes I have thought of this before.
It's amazing how the brain works, and how much I underestimate it, because sometimes I think of something, think it a totally new and fabulous idea, but then I would find old notes from somewhere, written months ago, and I would have noted down exactly the same thing. That's precisely the reason why I am now learning to organise my notes a bit better, and keep same projects in same places, or nearby.
So that makes me wonder about people who say, I just sit down at certain time and write certain words. What about the thought process? Do you just do it in the beginning, and never have to go do it in the course of the writing? Or do you only follow the story, and not worry about anything else?