Today I’m going to talk about organising projects. Now, if you’ve ever looked over at my Other Projects page, you’ll see that I’m terrible at sticking to one thing. I get all these shiny ideas and run off plotting them. Meanwhile, I’ve got a bunch of half written, half edited manuscripts laying all over the place! Y’know, figuratively.

In the computer

It was for this reason (and nothing to do with the fact that I have a massive deadline a week from today that I’m avoiding) that I decided to make a spreadsheet. I started by trawling through my writing folding, ditching the half baked ideas that were terrible and I no longer have any interest in, and sticking all the rest into a list.

Next, they have to be organised and prioritised. I decided to come up with three groups: Active, Queued and Not Active. Only a certain number of projects can be Active or Queued, and the only way to move up a priority is dead man’s boots. Or, stage completed man’s boots. That sounds less perilous though. Anyway, once a project has been moved into “Active,” it stays there until the stage it is currently in is completed (or goes up a level, eg first draft –> second draft). I’ve given myself three Active slots, so that I don’t burn myself out on a single work, though one of those slots will ALWAYS be Twyned Earth, until they are done. And as you can see, I only have two at the moment, until after the 28th!

I definitely should have been working instead of making this.

I definitely should have been working instead of making this.

The reason I’ve chosen multiple Active slots is because sometimes project hopping is good for you.

Sometimes you just don’t have the inspiration for a certain project. You have the desire to write, but can’t even look at the story you’re supposed to be working on. The advice online quite often tells you to just fight through it, sit down and power on. I’ve done it and sometimes it works. When I’ve got a deadline, or it’s a NaNoWriMo project, I just sit down and force myself on that project. The thing is though, I’ve found that if I’ve hit a block, stepping back and looking at a different story entirely can help lift that. I know I have a problem as a serial project cheat, but instead of letting it be a problem, I’m letting it be a solution. Sometimes the brain needs a reboot, and what better way than focusing on something else for a while? Similar to how other hobbies are good, for people like myself other projects can help kick writer’s block to the kerb.

I’m taking control of my constant hopping, but at the same time giving myself room for flexibility, because without it I don’t know how much joy I would find in writing. And without that, what’s the point? I’m narrowing my hopping down because I’ve gone too long without finishing anything, but I’ll never give up totally. I love all my stories and they will all receive love!

What about you guys? Are you a project hopper? How do you keep it under control?

2 responses to “Organisationing

  1. Well, not a writer, but I am notorious for project hopping. I have an abandoned crocheted scarf, several amigurumi that need eyes sewn on, a few crocheted stegosauri to make for some nieces/nephews, 3 cross-stitch patterns in different stages of completion, 2 others that I want to do next, oh! and a paperback book that I’m making into a hardcover book (it’s half glued on). I think I have a problem… *goes off to make a spreadsheet*

    But seriously, I really think it’s necessary. Otherwise I get bored of not seeing progress on projects that are quite large, and give a good break. Then I come back refreshed and looking forward to working on it.

  2. I don’t tend to hop around between books, but I do have lots of other projects that I bounce around between. Oo! A gallon of milk. I shall make cheese. Look! Cardboard! Mary needs a new baby book. Plot bunny! Plot bunny! Where’s my computer? ACK! WHY IS THE FLOOR RED WHO’S BLEEDING????

    As you can see, I could really use a little organization in my life. Pretty much, things get done in the order in which sanity dictates. My child is bleeding. That first. Right now. Okay. The milk will sour in a week. That next. Plot bunny. Now. Always now. Hey, cardboard. Get in line.

    But I have to say, that spreadsheet is lovely. I am a sucker for spreadsheets. *reaches slowly* Such… pretty… colors…

    *opens Excel* Hello, beautiful.

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