Back in March, I wrote a blog post titled “It’s That Organizing my Writing Project” in which I wrote about going through my writing in the effort to see just what I have and what I should do with it. This project came out of a meeting with my writing coach, Kate Hopper, that we had well over a year ago back in 2019 when people could meet at cafes and talk over breakfast (oh how I miss those days). At that meeting I talked with Kate about my writing goals. “Should I write a book?” “Do I have anything to say?” and “What would I write about?” These are the types of questions I asked Kate. And Kate told me, basically, “Yes!” and “Yes!” And (I am paraphrasing) “Print up all the stuff you’ve written and mark it up as to what themes you’ve written about and then we’ll look at what you’ve got and go from there.”
So I decided to organize my writing using Scrivener software and didn’t get very far. Then I decided just to print everything (like Kate said in the first place) but got stalled again in trying to organize my computer files so I could figure out what to print. So I gave up on all that and simply opened my computer and started printing things I’ve written in a haphazardly organized fashion. I creating a list of themes that often show up in my writing and a color coding system so I could flag each piece as to what theme or themes are in the piece. When I finished printing everything that was easily accessible and printable (I know there’s loads more material handwritten in journals but I’m not going to deal with that for now) my stack of writing was 2 1/2″ thick and weighed 7 pounds!
In May, about a month after I printed all the material, I was attending a virtual writing retreat led by Kate and I realized I needed to get around to labeling all of my writing by theme. So I poured myself a glass of wine and got my page flags and sat outside and started page flagging my work.
It took awhile to go through all of that writing but I got through it all and flagged each piece of writing by theme. Several pieces touch on more than one theme making for a colorful stack of paper with all the page flags.
The next step is to organize everything by theme now to see how much content I have in each area. I was planning to have this done, oh, a few months ago, but life has been a bit full these past few months and I didn’t get this next step accomplished. Guess what? I’m attending another virtual writing retreat later this week so am once again motivated to get this next step done.