I thought you might be interested in what goes on in my office. I try to be organized. I really do. But something unexpected always happens to throw things off.
For example, last year I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted things to go down. This wasÂ my partially completed editorial calendar from that time period. I had a plan that stretched all the way out to 2018Â and covered 18Â new books. LastÂ year’s schedule was mapped out, month by month in what might be described as a terrifying plan. I was pretty confident, though.
We’ve now reached February of the following year, and I can tell you the plan is still good. But it’s about six months behind. I did get the short story collection out last month, though, and I’ve moved on to focus hard on Unfinished Muse. Life’s curveballs only delayed me. They didn’t make me quit. Here’s what that same dry-eraseÂ poster on my office wall looks like today:
In case you’re wondering what’s written in the upper lefthand corner, it says “Murffy was here” in my terrible handwriting. One of my oldest, bestest friendsÂ asked me to do that, since she lives too far away to do it herself.Â And there it will stay.
Usually, my elaborate plotting goes on theÂ “Big Board,” but in the fall, I gave up the boardÂ so we couldÂ plan our television shows for the season. This is a throwback to the excitement of the fall lineup when we were kids. It’s not so much an organizational thing as it is the fun of planning what new shows we’ll try out and when our old shows are coming back. Don’t judge us for how much TV we watch. Honest. A lot of shows get dropped from our schedule fairly quickly.
It’s wiped clean, now, awaiting the timeline I’m working on for Unfinished Muse.
I also have a bunch of smaller boards I use for brainstorming individual problems, like character traits, lists of places, names of background characters, or this. This is from when I was working on Demons in My Driveway. It’s a map of the world. No, seriously. Each blob I drew represents a continent. It’s not meant to be accurate geographically (obviously). But I needed to visualize how many Aegises I had left and where they were in the world. The line with numbers above that is the list of chapter numbers. I have no idea why that’s there. It would also be on the Big Board.
I am a writer, not an artist.
In addition to the boards I’ve shown you, I also have two more of those dry-eraseÂ posters, only in yellow, on the wall behind me, two more mini boards, a dry-eraseÂ monthly calendar, a folding dry-eraseÂ board that looks like index cards, and an electronic Boogie Board. I take my notes and brainstorming seriously.
Really, I just like writing stuff so I can wipe it off again. And someday, if I’m very, very good, I’ll have one of those huge boards on wheels that flips over so I can write on it on both sides.
Everybody’s gotta have a dream. I’m sure you’ve got a weird one, too. Right?
See you real soon!