The Problem

The problem with writing is this:
there are too many words, too many
ideas; popping up like springtime dandelions,
ripe to be carried away by the wind.

This was nudging itself around my head while I tried to sleep last night. It's still barely a seedling, but I'll play with it... if I don't lose it, or forget the words, or worse, accidentally delete it...

I've been thinking a lot about organization of writing and what to do with all the ideas, all the words, all the fragments that I've collected.

Do I start a new journal for every new story? I new file folder? Buy a hard drive just for my writing?

I need to do something. Right now I have journals, files, documents, napkins (seriously), you name it -- strewn through my life like a breadcrumb trail.

And honey, we're not gonna make it home on bread alone.

So I pose this question, friends: how do you organize your writing? I'm ready to learn.


  1. It is a struggle--I have the same problem--I have several things started on my computer--several things in my notebook. What's a writer to do?

    I love the breadcrumb/not going to make it on bread alone lines. Gave me a chuckle. And writing is a lot like that--little crumbs here and there all waiting to become a sandwich!

  2. I like that poem, particularly the image of ideas popping up like dandelions in springtime. I am pathetic, I have no organizational system. I have a notebook here, a pad of paper there, a scrap of a post-it, and my brain which isn't a very reliable receptacle for ideas. The ideas evaporate before I get something written. What to do?

  3. I know exactly how you feel. I have a tendency to start, but not finish. I have countless first chapters, partial drafts, and scraps of scribbled notes drifting around my computer and my room. It really is quite an acquired skill... and I definitely have not mastered it yet. But, I will say that I really like this post! I really like the way you write(: Alrighty, thanks for sharing!

  4. So what I'm hearing is that as writer's we are inherently disorganized? :D Well... at least I'm not alone!! There are just too many words to keep neatly tucked away.

  5. Just reading this now. I currently have an ideas list on the "notes" app on my phone. I have one smallish notebook I carry everywhere so that I can write by hand if I feel the need. My "Writing" folder is synced to the cloud, so I can never lose what I've written. The folder is divided by project... but the writing I do that isn't really yet a "project" (which is most of my writing) is filed in a "Musings" subfolder. The places I tend to write the most are jots on my phone (ideas/phrases) and the "Musings" folder... Isn't it sad that so many ideas will indeed inevitably be "carried away by the wind"? BUT with a daily writing practice that's much less likely to happen! :)