Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Managing Multiple Writing Projects

Hello everyone, it's certainly been a long time no see, and I haven't gotten the chance to post lately. I've been looking for a job without much luck and helping my Grandma as much as I can since she started Chemo treatments about a month ago. But, as I as musing about what I should blog about, I had this idea pop in my head, and decided to run with it.

So, I efficiently manage my writing projects quite inefficiently compared to others. For me, I have them in a writing folder, my google cloud, and I have a document tracking what projects I'm working on along with future things I would like to pursue. Granted, I've gotten better over the years, but there are at least 2 projects (4 if I count some really old writing) that I need to find on my computer.

Granted there are a lot of ways to approach this but, I can think of a three right off hand. One, store in the traditional way on your computer using a file system. I would recommend putting your folder on your desktop screen (so it can guilt you into writing more) and you don't need to go digging for it. The other thing I would recommend is to put everything relating to that writing project into it's own folder if you have multiple documents. For example, you have your writing doc, an outline doc, and a spreadsheet of your characters.

A second option is to store your writings on the cloud. Quite frankly, Google Docs is the only way I write now. I have 2 computers: an older one with a bigger screen and nicer keys and this little Chromebook that I had bought for work. I would have to use a USB if I didn't want to use the cloud or email my document back and forth and pray that I get the right version attached. But, I just log in with my Google account, and I can quickly edit the document this way.

A third way of storing your writing would be using a program like Scrivener. Some people live by it, I however have never had much luck working with it other than outlines. I do enjoy the cork board and the different options of the page layout. Plus, if you like having lots of folders, it would probably work great for you. Granted, I haven't given it a chance lately, but based on past experiences it just didn't work for me.

Now, when I dive into what project I want to work on, I dive all the way in unless there are little side note stuff with another story. My biggest problem however is getting to finish a project AND be happy with it. Heck, I started this blog almost 4 years ago because I felt like my one project would be ready by the end of the first year. I'm certainly glad that I didn't publish at that stage but it's just humorous to look back upon it. For others I know they can switch back and forth on stories depending on their mood. If you can, awesome, because I know if I tried switching too frequently my characters would cross over and leave me in confusion.

Finally, after organizing your stuff, make a document that has all of the writing projects you have and your current goal for them. It'll really help prioritize what you're working on and will help you focus on what is important. On that same note, clear out writing projects that you don't ever plan on working on again. My favorite is the adoption board on Nanowrimo, because someone else may get the vision of what you were going to write and run with it, and that's where I have gotten ideas. Obviously it's common for writers to start a story plot and not run with it because it doesn't pique their interest anymore. While it is hard for me to let go of stories I do know that sometimes it just doesn't work out.

The overarching point of this article is that you should have some system, however inefficient it may seem to someone else, because it will help you. I promise. Even if you only have 1 story you work on and don't have other projects, it's good to have all your information together. Plus, if you have been worried about getting around to your other projects even though you have no interest in them, you should prioritize and find what you enjoy writing.

Alright, that's all I have for now. I may hop on later on my other computer and add a picture, but since I'm on my Chromebook, I'm going to leave it for now. Thanks for reading and post how you keep track of your writing projects. Until next time.

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