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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Organized confusion?

I read with great admiration Mahala’s work at organizing her writing research, back-ups, notes, and blurbs. I looked at my documents ad infinitum and, taking incentive from Mahala, threw out the contents of two 3-inch ring binders. Some of those pages dated back to year 2000. Ergo, useless. I felt refreshed, in control . . . organized!

Then I looked into my office closet and realized I still can’t take more than two steps in before I’m blocked. Boxes holding reams of paper stacked one atop the other and on top of those lie, in perfect horizontal filing posture, more pages of research, newspaper clippings, notes, and blurbs. The reason I can’t file away any of those documents is because I have picture frames leaning against the drawers of one of my lateral file cabinets. (Ha!)

I prefer to think we writers must necessarily be somewhat messy in our physical lives since our minds are always off somewhere—re-writing a scene, polishing dialogue, re-naming our protagonist because we spotted our pitch-perfect name in another story. Yesterday I spotted the title to one of my works-in-progress listed under another author’s accomplishments. You know what that means . . . not only changing my title but also changing some dialogue. Sigh.

I’m willing to accept that the most current reason I’m forever foraging for my keys, my cell phone, and my coffee cup is because I’m thinking about the Seascape Writers Retreat. On Sept. 18, I’ll be honing my writing skills in Connecticut with seventeen other mystery writers (including fellow Lyrical Pen Tracy).

I expect to get some honest, blunt feedback but hoping for at least one atta-girl. I sure don’t want to hear my baby is ugly, but I’m determined to listen. It’s the only way to make the story better.

I, and I’m sure Tracy, will share more about our experience later.

cj

Oh, if you’re in the market for some writing software, you might check out the reference below. It doesn’t seem too expensive. I don’t personally own it (I'm not that organized), but it did get some endorsements from other writers.

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html

1 comment:

  1. You know I'm the most disorganized member of this group! But for me out of sight is out of mind. My desk may be a mess but I can usually put my hands on what I want when I want it!

    The scrivener software is supposed to be excellent, but, alas, it's for macs only.

    Even though I admit I'm disorganized, it doesn't mean I don't try. A great writing program for PCs is yWriter. I use it mostly to outline and track my scenes and characters, but you can compose right in it as well. And best of all it's free!

    http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html

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