Episode 002 | Oh, ROMEO. Fall in Love with Your Writing to Get Your Projects Under Control
Feel free to hate the cheesy acronym, but love the message.
Round up all your writing projects. Search the scary dark corners of your clouds and drives, gather all those scraps of paper and half-filled notebooks. Check your notes app and your email folder for emails to yourself. Get all those ideas and projects in one place to start off.
Observe what you have. Always thought of yourself as more of a literary novelist, but find that a lot of your stuff is ideas for memoir essays or flash fiction? Note it. Group like with like and see what your muse has been throwing in your path so far.
Make some decisions. For this step you have to “get meta” again. Maybe you do have a pile of poetry, but the idea of working on it leaves you less than inspired. That’s fine. Or you might realize that while you have precious little done so far on that screenplay — maybe even just the kernel of the idea — but it’s where all the “heat” is. It’s what gets your heart skipping beats. Note that, too. You’re not immortal, sadly, so you’re going to have to choose which projects go front and center. You might choose things that are close to done for that boost of momentum that comes from finishing something. Or maybe you decide to go where you feel the most excitement and passion. Whatever. Just decide on two things: 1) what you’re going to work on now and 2) what you’re going to work on next. Not someday. Now or next only.
Eliminate everything that isn’t now or next. Eliminate is a scary word. I get that. All I mean is eliminate from your daily mental and physical space. You don’t have to trash anything if you don’t want to. Feel free to dump them all in a single drive or in a box or file. Think of it as a waiting room for those other ideas. They’re just going to hang out there and wait until you need them, if you ever need them. No worries, no rush. You may get back to them or you may not. But you’ll know where to go looking if and when you do.
Organize what’s left. Now’s the time for that inner office supply nerd or obsessive techie to come out and play. Set things up using whatever tools you’re already familiar with right now. They’ll absolutely do fine for now. Later, we’ll have reviews and recommendations for various software, apps, and other resources and tools, but for now, just use what you know and get the stuff together (research, characters sketches, first drafts, initial ideas, etc.) for the things you decided in the M step to be the things that either excite you the most or seem the most doable. what you’re working on now and next.
By taking the time to do this loving exercise, you should find yourself a little clearer and a little less overwhelmed the next time you sit down to write.
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