The number of notebooks I had when I started writing was utterly appalling. I had one. Yes, I know! One! And in it I wrote everything in a huge higgledy piggledy mess. And unsurprisingly when my writing became more of a career aspiration than a hobby, using this notebook was a giant pain. I was constantly going backwards and forwards trying to find where I’d written that thing I thought of in the middle of the night, or that lovely phrase I thought of when I was ironing.
I’ve discovered that my organised nature extends to my writing too. I know now that I’m a plotter by nature and like to have all my thoughts and notes for a project together in one place, flowing nicely from one page to another. I can’t work any other way and while it sounds overly dramatic to say it stifles my creative, it’s no less true. If I’m stressing about where I wrote things I go off track and lose my writing momentum.
So now I have a notebook for random thoughts, good careers for my characters, plot ideas, nice words. Basically, anything. When I’m beginning a project I have one notebook dedicated to it. It’ll go from initial plotting, all the way to self-edits and, submission. Then when I get edits back from my editor, I work through those points here too. I’ll also note down full character descriptions to make sure my character’s eye colours don’t change half way through!
And I would definitely recommend that you have a notebook for social media that includes twitter posts, blog posts, author interviews and guest posts. And even a speadsheet for tracking submissions!
This may sound a bit boring to some people and to be honest, it probably is. But I like being organised and find that when I’m organised and plotted out, I have the freedom to be creative because my mind isn’t weighed down with other things.
Do you have any tips to share on organising your writing? I’d love to see them in the comments below!