Trying to Organize my Poetry = Blech

real simpleI cyclically go through phases where I have a desperate need to clear away clutter and simplify my life.  Unfortunately, these tendencies rarely extend in all directions.  That means while I’m cleaning out the clutter in the kitchen junk drawer, the hall linen closet gets stuffed with unfolded sheets.  Martha Stewart I am NOT.

I’m not sure about other writers, but over the years, I’ve accumulated a great deal of POEMS.  Trying to organize these various documents and files has become a little overwhelming.  Why aren’t they just in alphabetical order, you ask? Because that would be too freaking simple!

No, seriously, they aren’t in alphabetical order because pieces are in various stages of editing and revision.  Sometimes they are bunched up as I consider themes and collections.  Sometimes they are leftovers from writing assignments in classes.  Frankly, I even have multiple copies of the SAME poem in ten different places (which makes things doubly confusing when I edit/revise in one location and then forget exactly WHERE that location Is).

One of the nice things about Nanowrimo is that the organization would send out weekly reminders to back up your novel.  I LOVE this because I would take time, right then, to save the document to the cloud.  It’s not like I don’t know to “save” my work, but how many of us do this with regularity? (Shut IT if you are one of those a-holes who is always on top of this)  By the same token, I’d like to get my work uploaded somewhere safe and in a cohesive manner that’s easily navigable.

This is one of those occasions when I would LOVE to hear from others about their suggestions.  Feel free to comment below, via twitter, or on my facebook page.  Right now, I’ve decided to put poems under “theme” headings, like “School/Teacher” poems.  Then if a poem gets published somewhere, I’m going to change the name the document is saved under to include the publication’s name and date.

I suppose I’m inspired to do this in part because I try to organize and simplify my life EVERY new year.  Even though I know some of my efforts fall apart over the course of the year, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to realize that I am NOT quite the same flitterbegibbit that I was at twenty-one.  Gosh, it’s been at least a month since I lost my keys!

Now where the hell are my sunglasses?

3 thoughts on “Trying to Organize my Poetry = Blech

  1. K.r. Bartelheimer says:

    I’m pretty much digital anymore. Most of my paper stuff I gave to my mom cause it was so old and I was such in an emotionally different place that I don’t and didn’t want to deal with it and wasn’t going to do anything with it anyway. I do have spiral notebooks floating around all over my apartment with half written books or whatnot in them, but anything I write by hand is something I wrote specifically because I didn’t want to take it seriously, usually in period where I was taking everything way too seriously and I just needed to write something to write it and not think beyond the page. As far as backing stuff up goes, I was backing everything up to an external hard drive until I think I busted the cable or something, so I need to get a new one. Also thinking of getting cloud space to back up stuff in case of fire. Right now I’m way behind in backing my stuff up, actually. Most of my really important stuff I posted online on fictionpress.com anyway, so if my computer crashed and burned I wouldn’t be completely up a creek. Plus a lot of the other stuff I have on my second computer, too, though not the recent stuff. Speaking of I should make another copy of my hard drive, put it on a flash drive and put it on said other computer again… once I figure out where I put my flash drive, lol. I used to have three.

  2. alysette says:

    Agreed.
    I too go through the “must organize this thing NOW (to the detriment of everything else)” phase. I’ve struggled with how to organize my writing for YEARS. No good answer yet. I’m about to reorganize everything after I move (in the next month).
    I write poetry, short stories, and fiction in different genres. I also have “snippets” – things that I think would make good titles, the first page of what could be a story, words I like, potential names for characters, etc. Right now it’s next to impossible to find something I know I have. Add to this that I write a lot of stuff long hand first… LOL. Yeah.
    All that being said – I think I’ll opt for simplicity next time. A folder for each type, then a folder for each story/poem/article. I’m planning to move all of the snippets to MS OneNote – I’ve recently started using it at work and love it: I think it comes with most newer versions of MS Office. I’m really anxious to use it when I start writing again, because you can link it to your document and keep notes in it (cool, right? Of course this may be the novelist speaking).
    Good luck! Hope you find a way that works for you!

  3. sstarr0708 (Sherri Overzat) says:

    If I could develop such an organization system, I probably wouldn’t have to write anything ever again. lol. I, too am guilty of have spiral notebooks and slips of paper in several different locations. Now if could keep track of those locations, well, that’s another story. I have greeting card suggestions, notebooks with poems and short stories or starts of short stories, some with dates and others without dates. In addition, I have slips of paper with interesting names and snippets of ideas for stories. If I ever develop such an organization system, my KWA contacts will be the first to know.

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