An alert popped up on my computer screen warning my Google Drive was running out of memory. To combat this problem I deleted and reorganized files into folders for easier access. With the ease of use of Google Drive, I have random documents floating in the abyss of the cloud.
During NANOWRIMO 2 years ago I wrote a complete short story as my project. In my haste, I did not place these stories into a folder but just save them in the general drive with the intention of organizing them later. This is a bad idea.
I am organized to a point, but if I’m frenzied or passionate about an idea I save but do not curate. My creative brain has no time for Logical Organization in the middle of the creation mindset. When I procrastinate, then I am searching for a story I can’t find and the Google Drive does not always locate things as quickly as I would prefer. Many stories do not get titles right away because I struggle with writing them.
I need a system for curating my own resources which starts with placing the pieces into a folder that makes sense. This problem is not just for my writing folders either. As a teacher, I have many resources saved digitally. Teaching requires folders by month and by topic. It is the way many moons ago I curated materials in my file cabinets. When I taught first grade my files were even color coded!
Currently for writing, I have folder names based on cooking. I have a COMPOSTING/INGREDIENTS file where ideas go. I have a COOKING folder which are pieces I am still working on. There is a folder named READY (for submission). LEFTOVERS is for the words I have revised out but do not have the heart to delete forever.
Sorting through piles of files is an adventure. I found pieces I feared I would never lay eyes on again and many documents of recorded snippets of conversation. I renamed more than a handful of “Untitled Documents” which were mostly dictated pieces from my Google Keep app. I write on my commute and save it to the drive and revise later. I transferred story sparks to a large Dump document I call Notes and Musings. I saved all the words that don’t belong anywhere else. The Notes and Musings document is the technology equivalent of my black writer’s notebook. Notes and Musings is the document that holds a part of a poem, a line, a memory, or something that I’m going to use in a story later. I write “LISTS OF 10” every day as well but those documents have their own folder now. It is not as satisfying to flip through the doc as it is to mine a journal for a writing idea but at least I know they are saved.
The action plan moving forward is to organize documents as I go. I will remind myself to take 5 seconds and place the work in a folder that makes sense.
Tammy Breitweiser is a writer and teacher who is a force of nature and woman of honor; seer of nuance; accidental inspirationalist; keeper of the little red doors, and conjurer of everyday magic who is busy writing short stories. A future Minnesotan temporarily hiding in Indiana, her poetry has been published in The Storyteller Magazine and her flash fiction in The Ninja Writers Monthly and Elephant Never. Her essay is published in the I Wrote it Anyway anthology. You can also connect with Tammy through Twitter @TLBREIT.