Organized Creativity – Upgrading My System

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This week has felt very long. I swear Monday was at least three months ago. It has been a very hectic, very stressful, very full in general, both in my work-life and writer-life, but here I will only be talking about the one I actually care about.

As a writer, I have been a mess this week, taking on too much with too little time. When there are several things that I have to do before a certain time, the stress causes the quality of my work to suffers. Which is why I’m less than pleased with this week’s Valentine & Maxwell episode. It came out on schedule, but it could have been a lot better if I had more time and energy to make do it right.

I keep going over and over this in my head. Most of the time, finding a way to be both efficient and produce good content, feels like searching for the Holy Grail of systems. I love systems, but every time I try to get organized properly and stick to a writing schedule, a plan, anything, I eventually seem to get lost and mess it up. I would really rather not do that anymore.

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Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up soon, during which I plan to re-write the first 100 pages of Spiralling. To reach that goal, I need to go through 3.5 pages per day, which does not sound like a lot. That seems achievable, it sounds achievable, it should be. Yet I’m terrified of screwing it up. I will be suspending short stories and online series submissions for July, which has led to me obsessing that maybe I should be writing a lot more of them before July, which in turn leads to banging my head against the wall because I cannot think of any good short stories to write!

It has been so hard working on the short story for next Wednesday. It took forever before to come up with even a concept, let alone for it to form itself into a tellable story. It’s been a useful experience to basically force my brain to squeeze out ideas, but the process also got me thinking.

And thinking isn’t always a great thing for me.

I need to be able to write my online series and short stories every week, while also working on outlines and my actual novel without the weight always breaking me, without always ending up back here where I question if I can even do this, if I’m committed enough, if I have what it takes to push myself as hard as I need to. I don’t like ending up here every few months or weeks, questioning everything.

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I. Have. To. Get. Organized. Way more organized than I already am, because even though my system is pretty great right now, I am not as good at sticking to it as I need to be. I need balance between work, writing, me-time and friends. I need the strength to stick to my own gawddamned plan.

I watched Rachel Stephen’s videos about bullet journaling the other day, and mostly I’m on autopilot when watching these kind of things, not listening closely and always thinking, there’s no way I could do that. I might be able to keep it up for like two months tops. That’s what happened when I tried to use a day planner this year. It’s been gathering dust on a bookshelf since March.

But when listening to Rachel Stephen – she’s awesome, btw; check her out – something caught my interest. I listened, observed, and moved on to other YouTube videos on bullet journaling, and thought… This is a great tool for organizing your life and your writing. Why not give it a try?

It’s absolutely essential that I find a usable method for organizing my writing, and working on what I need when I need it, not just jump sporadically from project to project when the mood strikes. It bothers me to no end to think how much further I would have been with Spiralling right now if I only managed to focus on it when supposed to. I’d probably be done with the second draft, at least.

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The point is, that if there is any chance bullet journaling can be an effective tool that could help me focus, aim and shoot at the right things at the right times, then why the fuck not give it that chance? If anyone out there has any tips about bullet journaling, feel free to send them my way; it would be highly appreciated!

I just want to be able to work on everything I need in an organized way that doesn’t drive me into a stressed out, fractured mess who can’t get anything done. I realize the only person who can make that happen is me,  but I just want to find the right tools to help me do it.

I realize this post has been heavily influenced by my stress-levels, and that it’s kind of a rambling mess, but hopefully you can forgive that. Honestly, I needed to be able to write a rambling mess right now, if just to de-clutter my mind.

Who knows – maybe by this time next week, I will be preparing a post about my perfect new system where I do exactly what I’m supposed to, exactly when I’m supposed to do it? Maybe then I will truly have a chance of reaching that goal of getting Spiralling out into the world by 2019.

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A girl can dream, right?

Rain S.


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