Since about 2010, I’ve been keeping writing notes in Blueline notebooks. I go through two or three a year. I’ve just started my fifteenth.
It’s remarkably arbitrary when I finish a notebook; I simply run out of pages. From there, I have to plan a trip to Staples, select a notebook. Sometimes they’re all out of my usual model, so I adapt.
About half-way through, say, 2013 or so, I realized I was carting around not just the current notebook, but also the previous one or two, just because they had notes I still needed to refer to.
So I force myself to take the time to sit down and go through the previous notebook and transcribe notes. Sometimes photocopies must do, stapled into place.
I add post-it flags, highlighting, all that Type A jazz.
And I also started doing a “state of the union” on the front page of every notebook. I list all the various projects and ideas that have been circling my mind like vultures, waiting to pick off some spare moment of creativity and actually be written.
I did all of this yesterday.
The last few months have been crazy. I had to go through the previous two notebooks to do this and I still have more to do.
In that craziness, I’ve had to sit on a few projects just to make room for new ones.
In my state of the unions, projects seem to shake down into two or three tiers.
Tier One includes on-going sagas and projects that have dominated my mental space. Basically, this is Pirates in Space and then anything else that momentarily takes over. It’s like these projects are my immediate family and Pirates in Space is my husband.
Tier Two is other projects that I am actually making decent headway on. They take up decent space in my creative life, but they will always be dropped if Tier One needs me. These are like my extended family and friends.
Tier Three includes brief ideas and things that are only ever half-baked. Maybe one day we’ll become good friends. Maybe one day I’ll even marry them. But right now, they’re just someone on the bus you talked to once, or that guy three cubicles down you know is also into Star Wars.
Let’s just say that Pirates in Space and I are in couples counselling because I’ve been spending a lot of time with other projects lately. A little too much time.