Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Writer's Resolutions--Revised?? by Christine Duncan

It's only two weeks into the New Year and I'm hitting some snags with my resolutions. I stuck to 3 resolutions when it came to writing. I wasn't hoping for the moon.

I had resolved to write one page a day--no problem. I'd grade myself an A+ there.

I had resolved to do one promo thing a day. I have been writing people to put together another blog tour but we all know that is the easy part I've got to write those blogs and figure out how to promote them. Still the resolution was just one promo thing a day and I have been doing that.
Grade? B.

But my third resolution is giving me real problems. I had resolved to organize my writing research and my old articles and stories. This job is way out of my league--if there is a league for organizing.

Just gathering all this stuff up is a massive undertaking. I've found notes from a con I attended in 2003 in a drawer in my bedside table, old articles and stories in a file drawer downstairs and a pile of stuff next to my computer in my husband's drafting office. Now that i"m looking, the stuff is expanding and coming after me. It is truly scary.

Sigh. I haven't even attempted to figure out the stuff on floppy disks (remember those???) Many of those were written in Word Perfect--which I no longer have. But I'd better get to it quick while I still have one ancient computer with a floppy drive.

So short of throwing out what I haven't used lately (my usual rule when it comes to clothes and household items since we live in a small house,) what is an easy way to do this? I would put it all on computer--scanning is easy, but I've learned my lessons from those floppies. Technology tends to become outmoded. I long ago ran out of file cabinet space. I have one drawer just for articles I wrote for Sunday School magazines. I never even got to file most of my research material--heaven help me if I really needed to find it in a hurry to use it.

Any tips would be appreciated. And next year? I resolve not to make any resolutions.

Christine Duncan is the author of the Kaye Berreano mystery series


L. Diane Wolfe said...

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
Start simple. Just get those notes into one bog folder or box. Then as you have time, go through it. Sort by date or subject or whatever suits you best. Toss what you don't need. Little by little, it will get organized!

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

I think Diane is on to something -- you can get five banker's boxes for about $15. Put everything loose in them. Start scanning as you have time. Flash drives hold more memory now than mainframes used to have. Backup your computer regularly once a week. Put the flash drive at a friend's house. Rotate the things through so you have a backup off site that is no more than a week old in case of fire or theft. The floppies need to be copied soon, though, so they won't die. It doesn't matter what word processor they used, Word will import them for you.

Morgan Mandel said...

I keep trying, but I'm hopeless at organizing. I do my best. That's all I can do, but nothing ever looks as spotless or neat as I wish it would.

Morgan Mandel