Two-drawer File Brain

Writers can be driven insane by all the story ideas that pop up when they are working on something completely else. While I struggle to bend my contemporary romantic thriller into line, my brain kept pulling up details of a rough sketch for the sequel. I took notes, I found stuff on Pinterest, I talked about it on my Facebook pages and tried to get back to the main story.

But then the next Bowman’s Inn volume came due and I had to finish that story. My brain pulled out all the other BI stories I have ever thought about. Notes, Pinterest, maybe mention on Facebook. Back to work.

file divider, office supplies, close up

I finished the short story for the anthology, now I should be working on the third book in the Regency Banquet series. I have an amazing critiquer who is actually British and a Jane Austen fan. She is able to give me so much wonderful input, this book is going to be the best! Except I am taking notes for improving a Regency that never got more than a single chapter written but that I now see how to greatly improve the story.

And so it goes. I want to resubmit the contemporary in October, which will mean buckling down to the other projects, then working just as hard and fast as humanly possible. I don’t mind having a brain full of ideas and notes, but I wish I could lock at least one of the drawers so that the file cabinet doesn’t overwhelm me.

090317 brain files

One solution that I love is keeping a journal. My problem is making it portable enough to go everywhere with me and yet big enough to record all my ideas. Here’s one of the best suggestions I’ve come across: How to Start a Writer’s Notebook by Chloe Davis Smith. The first step is to get all your family and friends to gift you blank notebooks. Then you will never run out of room.

Writer’s Digest has some great ideas on how to choose one idea out of many, something they call the Too Many Ideas Syndrome. There are some really neat things to try there, but that’s not really my problem. I can sit down and start on any idea you throw at me. Or any idea I throw at me. What I need is a way to make the ideas wait their turns.

090317 paper-note-ipad-76752

At one time, I bought a small plastic file box and a bunch of index cards with alphabetical separating cards. I planned to set the details of each of my ideas on the cards and file by the Working Title. The drawback was, the box with the cards was never where I was when the ideas flew in. This Writer’s Digest post, From Idea to Page in 4 Simple Steps by N.M. Kelby is much more to my liking and close enough to the card box idea to be simple. Plus I have Notepad on my phone, so I can record ideas there and move them to the notebook at a later time.

090317 heart ideas

The interesting thing about Notepad, I started writing the Bowman’s Inn short story there while waiting for my car to be maintenanced. Later I couldn’t find a way to export the document into anything readable. I had to type it out again. Oh well, technology makes things better, not perfect.

So with all the fun of writing, organizing and keeping deadlines are part of the magic that makes writers just this side of crazy. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.


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