“Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.” – Steve Martin
I’m having a hard time calling myself a writer these days, due to the lack of, er…writing. But damn it all – I’m going to go ahead and call this blog post A Day in the Life of a Writer!
Okay, so I haven’t actually been writing lately, but I have at least been inspired (possibly by the long-awaited-for-Spring) to do some re-organization. I realized one of the reasons for my so-called writer’s block is document chaos. At the start of my book-writing adventure (a looong time ago) I was very diligent about keeping everything in its proper place.
But you’d be surprised how difficult it can be to keep all the information for an entire book neat and organized and easily accessible. This is very important because in the course of writing a book, there are many instances where you need to access your notes, whether it’s to refresh your memory about the backstory of a character, or to change something in your profiles because you had an epiphany.
I put off my WIP-Spring-cleaning-extravaganza even more so, when I realized that I had somehow duplicated my master folder for the WIP. I had it in several different places, both on my computer and on a flash drive. Not good.
But here’s the real kicker: When I was actually still writing, every time I added or changed something in my notes on file, I unwittingly picked a different folder. So what’s the big deal? Well, let’s have a look-see into the chaos of my mind shall we? My master folder (named after the working title of my WIP) contains several other folders with names such as Notes, General Notes, Random Notes, Setting, Characters, Notes About Characters, Notes About Notes, Notes About Notes About NOTES...you get the idea. And each of these folders, holds within them…yes, you guessed it, more FOLDERS. And in these folders, (some of which have more folders) are many, many Word and Open Office documents.
So basically, I had to go through every single document inside every folder that was inside every other folder, and determine which files to keep and which to discard. This was how I spent my Saturday night – probably a good 6-7 hours!
But what a relief that it’s done.
Only I’m not finished. Now that I’ve straightened out a mess that I created, it’s time to re-think how my documents are categorized. I’ve only just begun that process. I would also like to set up my hardcopy files so that they mirror my digital filing system.
And after that, then it’s time to WRITE again. Finally.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed by your own story? Any tips on how to stay organized?
This post was inspired by duolit, who suggested writing a “day in the life of” post.