In the spirit of getting my life back on track and organized… this weekend I decided to tackle what I thought was a reasonable task:
Organize my writing and files.
For my fellow writers- I don’t know what your process is… but depending on my mood, depends on what I want to work on. It is not the most productive way to do things- but that is how I feel and this is why I want to organize my writing and develop a system. I want to break that habit and find a process that isn’t so scattered.
Here is what I wanted to do:
1)Finish transferring files off my old laptop onto my new laptop.
2)Print each project out and place into a binder- where I have labeled and organized every story etc…
3)Take all the notes from my notebooks and place in binder with corresponding story.
4)Take all the plot summaries/ideas and file them under: “Stories not yet written”
5)Organize everything into my new office space.
After those first five steps are complete, I will go through my work, story by story- note by note. I want to start checking off my list and expanding on these stories, I really want to concentrate on my favorite ones and get out of this habit I have of willy-nilly tackling what I am in the mood for.
I want to change my strategy.
I want to be more efficient.
I want to be able to sit down, sigh and say:
“Phew! Finished! Now I can start the next step…..”
(Which of course is letting a few people read it, make suggestions, edits etc…. )
It all sounds like a well thoughtout plan…. right?
What I forgot is that- I write like crazy and I have YEARS of stories, outlines, plot summaries, notes, drafts…
YEARS of work!
(And this has always just been a hobby!!!)
In my head: Oh I only really have that one first draft novel that is complete – and just a few others where the first draft is ‘almost’ finished…and the notes are straightforward and easy…
In reality: HOLY CRAP… all these stories came from….ME?? How could I forget these?!!!
Needless to say, I sat on my daughters bedroom floor yesterday evening, surrounded by paper as the printer spit out page after page…after page….oh my God- How many pages??
(Forgive me dear trees… I will replant a few of you to honor your sacrifice to my work….)
I printed out five files, barely making a dent, and I was so caught up in the task at hand that I accidentally overcooked our dinner…
(Hubby actually threw his chicken breast down for Otis to eat…. Otis in turn, decided to play with it like it was a chew toy…. which reminds me I should really go make sure he didn’t hide it under the couch…)
My favorite dining table is littered with my binders, notebooks, both laptops and other things- sprinkled with little round pieces of paper from my hole-punching extravaganza!
I did manage to properly organize those five stories, which made me feel somewhat accomplished (as I ignored the fact that there are so many more to go…and that I have made a mess in my dining room….)
I even dug out a sixth- the actual novel I wrote approximately seven years ago- titled “Endecott Manor” (some of my friends may remember reading bits and pieces of it for me) it was already printed off and in it’s own binder with notebooks, labeled.. all so beautifully organized… and I started reading through it last night, re-reading it, getting to know my characters again was fun- but wow do I have a lot of work to do! If it wasn’t for the fact I am trying to organize everything first, I would dive into it right now and start working on making the second draft that much better….
So as you can see, what I thought was going to be a simple, straightforward task, has snowballed into something much bigger.
My eye is on the prize though and I hope to get it done in the next few days. I am eager to jump into the pages and turn them from first drafts and notes into something that I am proud of.
Meanwhile, I have also added one more item to my ‘To Do’ list:
The printer needs to be moved out of my daughters room and into my new office. She can learn to print her homework off down there! That floor is ridiculously uncomfortable and since her desk is covered in make up, socks and hair products- I am quite certain she will appreciate having a bit more space!
Writers: How do you keep everything organized? What is your process?? Please feel free to leave your tips in the comments!
Today’s Post Inspired by the Prompt: Strategy