I think of myself as a very organized individual. I have ‘to do’ lists for everything. Daily to do lists, shopping lists, objectives, short term, and long-term goal lists…well pretty much anything that I want to keep track of so I get things done, instead of muddling my way through a day. I need to feel that I’m accomplishing something. Crossing things off on my lists encourages me to move forward.
Which brings me to organization. I have file folders for all my writing that I thought appeared organized until I started re-writing some of my wip. I would look at my files and wonder which one to open because I hadn’t dated them or labeled them well enough to know which one was the ‘current’ wip.
Then, I realized that I have so many documents for the same piece of writing because of re-writes and critiques, etc. I hate tossing out original pieces because perhaps there might be something of value in it that I may want to use later.
I started to do a clean up this week to organize my ‘Writing Files’, and it was a time consuming task. First drafts, seconds, thirds, revisions, plot document, ideas, etc., were starting to overwhelm me. I probably had about ten files for each chapter written. Comparing and combining to make a few decent files with important and relevant information and a final chapter for the multitude of revisions I have done on it. I then kept every extra tidbit in a separate file and labeled it ‘Cut parts, unused, possible plot points’, for future reference for the wip.
In all, I probably eliminated about twenty-five documents that were redundant and unnecessary, and I feel a bit more organized. I feel a little better having done some housekeeping on my files and it reminded me of watching that show, ‘Hoarders’, where people keep everything, useful or not.
I now have a much cleaner and organized ‘writing file’, and can open it and go to the document I need to work on now.
How does everyone else deal with organizing their ‘writing files’? Similar problems or a tried and true technique that works for you? Please feel free to share your experiences with this.
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