this afternoon I decided to organize my writing life.  a wet version of something between hail, sleet, and snow is piling up on my yard and patio and it’s a perfect day to be indoors contemplating the various paths I might follow during my next half-year of writing.

like the suddenness of this afternoon’s storm, my writing life has just ignited.  while I was waiting for a lunch meeting regarding my grace manuscript, I counted back the years of this writing life of mine, and realized that it’s been almost 22 years since I committed to creating written works of art.  given, I haven’t yet quit my day job, but I have never truly stopped pursuing this dream.  I’ve performed some editing, I’ve hired out, I’ve spent a chunk of time writing “morning pages,” I’ve attended workshops and seminars and written more queries and synopses than I want to think about.  printed papers of all I’ve written would likely cover every wall in our main downtown library.  essays, short stories, novels, memoir, works of non-fiction . . . I am versatile and prolific.

and suddenly I’m busy.  I have one published book out there for which I must stimulate sales and find more ways to market, and I have a completed manuscript for which I’m creating a marketing plan.  I’ve just accepted a commission to complete a memoir for a woman who died before completing hers, and I’m working on a short story to enter into a competition next month.   in addition, I have a friend who wants me to take a look at her manuscript, and a request from a small publisher to come up with an idea (and eventually a completed manuscript) to meet his current need.  not to mention my novel-in-the-works . . .

so I decided it was time to get organized.

my sophisticated system is this:  a manila folder upon which I’ve written the name of each  project, my current plans and commitments for it, and my 3-6 month goal.  it took about 15 minutes, and so far it works for me.  now I have something to keep me centered and on task, to help me remember what I might forget, something to keep me honest.  it all seems doable.

however, it also pointed out to me that we’ve already finished almost one-twelfth of this beautiful new year, and next month’s contest deadline will be followed closely by my next goal date in april.  time slows for no man, does she?

the snow is still coming down solidly, building on top of what came down when I began typing this post.  it’s a good quarter-inch higher than it was then, thick and white and wet.  it’s resolute, committed, determined, unstoppable.

sounds good to me.