Let’s Get Organized!

One thing that remains – I am disorganized! Despite my best effort, I always wind up with a stack of sticky notes and an empty planner because in my mad dash to jot down a quick note, I grab what is closest to me, which is usually the sticky note pop up dispenser on my desk.

I had such great forward momentum at the end of NaNoWriMo 2022 that I was certain I would be able to keep going and finish my book – Just Give Me Everything. But, with the holidays, I procrastinated and then came February where I had that mini writers retreat with my best friend and fellow author, J. Lynn Million. I struggled – hard during that time to get back in the groove, and once I got back home, picked up a bug that had me down for the count until end of March.

I decided it was time to recommit to my book, and with that…joined Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of April. Funny thing is, it’s the 9th and I have YET to start writing again. So, I decided, lets get organized and determine what is left and where to go from here.

I set my word count to 15,000 words, something I feel isn’t too crazy and should (in theory) be attainable for me. My next step was to grab the planner I had so beautifully put together but wasn’t yet using, and get it ready for this project.

I know I need to add 4-6 chapters in my book to get enough chapters to complete the first draft. What I don’t know is where I want those to go, what stories am I missing, and what are the details around those. You could say that I’m in that limbo phase of pre-edits before the first draft edit.

I knew in order to come up with the who, what, where details needed for each of the missing chapters, I would need to remind myself of what I’ve already done, and. have it together in my planner for quick reference.

I took to my Pinterest board and began making a collage that I then printed out to put inside of each section so I could be able to take my planner outside and sit in silence and just think through these chapters. The end result is just ok, I should have printed it in color and not in black/white, but it will work for this project. (Full disclosure, I have three printers in my office that can print color, I’m just stingy about using them).

In each section, I also printed lined paper with the name of the book to keep the themes going and remind me what these notes were when I am complete with the book and tear it down for the next one.

My hope is that once I am finished with each book I write, I will have a place to store all handwritten notes for future reference and a look back into the book journey. I prefer to use a discbound planner system for my notes because I can easily add or remove pages as needed. It is easy to customize and despite having the capability to spiral bind books, I still prefer the ease of discbound for something like this.

The last thing that I did today was grab my resources that I know I’ll need to not only complete the missing chapters but also edit some not so great scenes that need refined.

One area I tend to struggle is in the more – ahem – personal and intimate moments. Some things I feel should be kept private between a couple and writing about someone else’s intimacy seems intrusive even for fictional characters. Before I fade to black, however, painting the picture for the reader is crucial, which I understand, so the two books I have chosen to help me with this is the Emotion Thesaurus and Naughty Words For Nice Writers – A Romance Novel Thesaurus. Both books are amazing and I’ve included links to them here (not affiliate links).

And that leads me to the end of the day today, April 9th. I have a start on getting organized so that I can get back on track with writing. I look forward to Monday evenings with J. Lynn Million, as together, we catch up on each others weeks, discuss our book progress, and often have writing sprints if we are stuck.

Here’s to a successful Camp NaNoWriMo! I’d love to hear your progress story if you are participating too!

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