Organizing Scribbles

MarthaStewartFiles_2Not too long ago, I had written a couple of paragraphs on a piece of paper for a story I’d been working on, and misplaced it. I looked everywhere, but couldn’t find it. I have a feeling it wound up in the garbage, because I wrote on the back of something else I no longer needed. I do that sometimes. Inspiration strikes and I grab what’s handy. I’m writing on the back of printed papers, napkins, and ripped pieces of paper. It’s terrible!

It’s impossible to remember everything that flutters through the mind. No matter how hard we try, we’re bound to forget things. So it makes sense to write things down—especially when working on a story.

I now have a small pad I keep with me at all times. At home, I have a ream of paper available for easy access and an expanding desktop file to hold the words, phrases, and parts of stories I scribble. Until I use them. I grab a full sheet of paper, because I have a tendency to go back to write more. So now whatever is handwritten goes in that desktop file. It’s where I place what I’ve written in my small pad as soon as I get home as well.

Have the same problem? Try setting up a system of your own. Whether you use sheets of paper or index cards, remember that having a central place to hold everything is important. Find a pocket folder or expandable desktop file—something that can serve as your library of writings.

Now, I’m a bit more relaxed. I know I can write down whatever comes to mind and it will all be in a safe place.


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