A Writer's Life: Organising the writing
This one goes out to all my fellow writer friends and followers.
How do you organise your writing?
Right now, my organisation system is a complete mess. Over the past ten years I have worked on four different laptops — two Toshibas, a Sony Vaio, and now a Mac for those who are interested — and as such, a lot of my writing is spread across all of those hard drives. I still own all four laptops so can access what I need if I need it, but I really only use the Mac these days (not very well, I might add. I seriously need some training in how to use this operating system. Google is most definitely my friend!) I have bought myself an external hard drive with the intention of putting all my writing in one place and backing it up, yet naturally I haven’t made the time to sit down and move everything onto it - a, because that is such a boring, mundane activity, and b, because I just have no idea how I want to organise it all.
Logically, I feel like I should have folders for different types of writing: poetry, short stories, novels, blogs, etc, and then save them within those folders in yet more folders labelled with the name of each project. This makes sense to me because then things should be simple to find. But what about the bits that don’t fit? There are always random documents that could span a number of the different sections, and some that don’t fit into any of those sections at all. What about ideas for stories that haven’t yet been written?
What about outside of the computer? At the moment, I don’t even know where my writing is, in the chaos of unpacking in the new house. I know there are some boxes somewhere that are labelled writing and/or office, and that it will be spread amongst those. But when I find them and unpack them, how do I keep all of that organised? I used to keep all the paper and notebooks in a basket and would just flick through them — for inspiration or to see what I had written previously — but that was the extent of my organisation. I’m hoping for more: something efficient and practical, that will make it easier to find what I’ve written when I haven’t been near a computer. I like writing by hand, so there’s a lot of it.
It’s strange to me, having this conundrum, because I’m usually quite an organised person, but this one stumps me because so far it’s not working the way it is, but I’m not sure what would be better and I really hate the time-wasting aspect of taking the time to try one way only for it to not work the way I was hoping and then I have to rearrange and try something else. So this is my call out to other writerly types and writing friends - what do you do?
How do you organise the products that are created as the worlds within your head come out onto the pages and screens before you?