Okay, writers are ghouls. On a listserve I'm on a discussion has come up that started with Graham Greene's statement that every writer must have a sliver of ice in his heart (or something to that effect; I no longer have the original post) and gone on to people recounting experiences--from robbery to brain surgery--during which they have found themselves taking notes on the experience for later use. I have a bunch of these myself, from childbirth to having my wallet lifted (I got to go to One Police Plaza; I got deposed by an ADA; I felt like an extra in Law and Order
!). Aside from the technical benefits of amassing information about a traumatic situation, I've always thought that the "someday I'll use this" experience is a way of getting a handle on an un-handleable event.
So my question is: when something big happens, do you find yourself taking notes? Are you a writer, or are we kidding ourselves in thinking that this is a behavior specific to writers, film-makers, etc.?