Monday, April 12, 2010
No there's no reason my cat Jackson is there except that he looks like I feel a lot of days. Lazy and easily annoyed by anyone bugging me - like an idiot owner with a camera who ought to be writing so that she can buy me all the best food and toys.
I have decided that I need to get organized. At least a little. So far this past month I've misplaced my character cards - the large cards on which I write down all descriptive phrases and facts concerning the hero or heroine. I could only find the one for the secondary characters. So - hours of searching ensued and I found them holding my place in a huge book with pictures of houses in it. Why were they there? Because I was reading the book at my desk and grabbed the first thing at hand to hold my place while I went and did something else. Upon returning I obviously moved the book because it was in my way. I've also lost or misplaced my rather large holder of cds for playing music in the car, my inhaler, a lot of e-mails my friends in the Rhode Island Romance Writers group sent me to answer a question about superstitions so I could write a clever blog about it, plus some pix I took( I know they're on the computer somewhere but which folder?) and --
Well, you begin to get the picture. I seem to live on the edge of utter chaos. Strangely enough the papers I need for the far too many conferences I signed up to go to this year are all neatly in a folder - marked clearly, and in the file drawer of my desk. My actual manuscript in the process of being written is in just the right place and I can put my hands on research for 1479 Scotland - the setting of my current WIP - in a heartbeat. My CDs and DVDs are all organized as are my bookshelves, research papers, and writing tips.
Anything beyond that and it becomes a crap shoot. Paperwork done or needing to be done while I am working on the next book? Easily lost. Notes on a phone call I just got, especially if it interrupted me while I was working on a scene? Who knows. Things I printed out because they could be useful in some future story? The gremlins ate them or they joined all those missing socks that never escape the dryer. The diningroom table? Buried beneath weeks of mail and magazines and catalogs. Hence saying I am on the edge of chaos.
Solution - get organized. Question - when? Also - can I do it? When I'm writing I get very, very focused on that and that alone. I may have a nice conversation with you on the phone but if you've interrupted me while I was writing I might not recall much of it after I hang up and have been back at work for a bit. Did I say I'd do something? Better remind me. I can organize but am obviously very choosy about what I organize, thus the ever encroaching chaos around me.
So I have decided to give organization a try. Hopefully it will work out for me better than all my attempts at clear, complete, and well-charted plotting did. I will organize one thing every morning. Morning being the time when I am not really fit for writing. My Muse likes to sleep late.(Wish I could do the same) It can't be any harder than writing, can it? Actually, for a pantser like myself it could be a lot harder but I need those hours I waste looking for something. Not to mention the fact that not being able to find something you want becomes a little nagging worry in your head and that certainly doesn't help you concentrate on the old WIP. So wish me luck. I am about to confront the devil Chaos and wrestle it into submission. I'm giving myself a month, making lists, and checking items off as I progress so that I can be inspired to continue. I figure by the end of a month I will either have made a very good dent in the chaos or will be in the process of spending hours trying to find where I put those lists.