Tuesday, November 6, 2012

VLOG - Getting Organized: My binder for NaNoWriMo

Writing a book is easy - said no writer ever!

The truth is, it is downright difficult. This is no 10 page paper... this is that times 20. And if you thought those term papers in college were tough, this is a whole different level. That means you have to keep a whole lot more thoughts organized. You need to remember facts; you need to be on a first name basis with all of your characters; you need to get in bed and sleep with them. Ok - maybe that is taking it a step to far....

But what I realized is I need to get organized and I am never organized. In fact, I am an organized mess! When writing a book it is really hard to keep everything straight. So, I brought in a binder. I needed something sitting in front of me to keep me on track. This binder is proving to be invaluable for the month of November as I push through NaNoWriMo.
I am on a time limit. I got 30 days to finish this book
so that means it is vital that I stay organized!

I originally bought the binder to organize my writing. After all, I wanted to keep track of the book I planned to write, my hubs, my blogs and my Vlogs. I don't have a photographic memory. I needed a place to keep my ideas stored. I never got that far.

As I started writing my book November 1st, I realized it was going to be hard to keep track of what I was writing. I needed something to quickly reference so I could avoid going back and rereading my manuscript. If I did that, I just know I would be stuck in edit mode and keep changing the story. But that isn't the point of NaNoWriMo. The point is to kick the editor out of the room and just get the story down. The beautifying process can come in December. Right now - I just need to hit 50,000 words.

So I started tracking bits of information that I put in my book each day. I started my character profile sheets. The sheets aren't organized in an Excel type format, but they work for the time being. I also started keeping track of how many words I was adding each day and how many words are in each chapter. (I know it is weird, but nothing bugs me more than knowing if my book was printed the chapter would only be 2 pages, but I have 100 chapters!) As an added bonus, I am also trying to beat myself. If I wrote 1500 words one day, the next day I am pushing for at least 1600.

So far this system has worked for me. It even gives me a spot where I can put my tiny little USB plug so I can back up my book and not lose it! And my pen... my pen has a home in my binder as well! How can I not succeed when I am being this organized.

Now I will admit, it does take a little extra effort at the end of the day. But if you start off right away and get into the habit, you will be much better off than when you get to the end of your story and you can't remember if your main character has blonde or black hair or if you can't tell us where they work. I figure the time I put into it now will save me time in the end.

So, I thought I would do a Vlog on my binder. I hope if you have been struggling to get organized, that this helps you. So take a look...

So for those writers doing NaNoWriMo with me, how have you been staying organized?

If you aren't a writer, have used a binder to get areas of your life organized?


  1. Wow, this method of organization is awesome Stacy, but have to admit I truly am not this organized and my life and writing would be on a good day organized chaos. I truly have never been the type of person in anything though that likes everything neat and having its own place. I am Ok with a bit of craziness so I guess I would be the Oscar Madison of writing, lol!! Seriously great job and thanks for sharing!!

    1. I am NEVER this organized... lol... I even amazed myself. Although I will have to admit, even though I have everything in a binder, it is a bit of a organized mess to say the least. I basically just have a place to get my ideas down so I can push through this. I am hoping to be at the halfway point of NaNo by the end of the week. Here's hoping for some quiet writing time! :)

  2. I'm some gray shades of organized. I have a little notebook where I had a skeleton idea, some characteristics of my characters, and some notes that I jot down as I go about my writing. But even then, my story is taking these radical turns that I didn't anticipate....Once again, though, I'm so glad you're doing this, too. :)

    1. Mine does the same thing... I have ideas on where to take it but I do let the story write itself. I think that is where it comes in handy to have a daily list of what your wrote. This way you know that in Chapter blah blah blah this happened. I would hate to make the mistake that they were in a deforming accident one chapter and the next they are running a marathon! ;)

  3. This is such a good idea. No wonder you are barreling forward!!

    1. Thank you. It was originally intended to get my writing organized for hub, blog and what not, but it works really good for just doing the book thing to. I think the story is going fast because I have discussed out plot lines with my husband for the last 6 months. I was going to start writing at the beginning of summer... just so happened I procrastinated until NaNo! LOL

  4. I'm really impressed, Stacy. All I had time to do was to jot down a list of what each chapter would generally be about. For someone who claims to be unorganized, this looks pretty organized to me! :) Great post! And congratulations on the great idea!


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