The title of this post may give you the idea that I’m doing this well. Juggling, that is.
But somehow I’ve got all this going on.
You might say I have commitment issues. You might be right.
But, no, not like that. I’ve been married for almost ten years. (Sidebar: WTAF how did this happen?)
I am though, at least when it comes to settling down on one new couple to smash together like R-rated Barbie dolls. I guess I have too many Barbies. My mom always warned me this was a problem. Sigh.
But it keeps it fresh. And by fresh I mean every time I open up a new document I say, “Wait what? Who? I wrote this?!”
And sometimes that’s cool, like, oh wow, I wrote this! Magical! And other times it’s uh… not so magical. Muuuuch less so.
So what do you do? When you’ve got multiple ideas floating around the phantasmagoric gray space of your brain and only *this* much time to sit your butt down in the chair/stool/locked bathroom floor to crank some words out?
And I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir. I know I can’t be the only one traipsing around leaving a paper trail and online research nuggets that would alarm any good NSA analyst. Notes in my notes app on my phone, pretty journals full of handwritten gobbledegook, webbing, outlines, and on and on and on.
But that way, when a stale WIP calls to me, undoubtedly while I am at my most naked vulnerable in the shower, probably with a sharp object in hand and on my legs, I can open up my red-yarn-chart-style notes and am off to the races.
The other thing I love SO much—and is probably the most helpful thing in crafting my stories– are sticky notes. I know a lot of writers use Scrivener to great effect, and you guys have my utmost respect because I just don’t have the inclination to learn a new software at my ripe old (insert fishing rod for compliments here) age.
I’m old school for a millenial. I like my sticky notes. I like them stuck INSIDE my favorite craft book, Gwen Hayes’ ROMANCING THE BEAT. She’s a goddess. I literally carry her book around with me EVERYWHERE, along with a stack of sticky notes, color coded (hopefully) for each WIP.
For example, let’s say inspiration strikes on that Paranormal Romance I thought I shelved. LOL YOU’RE SO FUNNY PARANORMAL ROMANCE, I’M DRIVING. RUDE.
Step 1: Pull the car over. Seriously, safety first.
Step 2: Jot down whatever your brain told you.
Step 3: Now pull out that slim book on craft, and STICK THE STICKY where it would go in your plot.
Step 4: Look both ways before pulling back into traffic.
Romancing the Beat is genius because it’s literally a blueprint for the romance structure. SO when I go back to draft at the safety of my computer at home, I can flip open my copy and look for all my blue Paranormal Romance stickes. AND AHA! Now I know where to write in my brainy idea, structure wise.
As far as juggling life and love?
Well, you’re on your own there, buckos.