Writing for dummies how to organize the writing desk

Writing for dummies how to organize the writing desk
Writing for dummies how to organize the writing desk
People often ask me, “Where do you get your ideas for your stories and articles from?” My stock answer is from my daily activities, which include really humdrum, mundane acts that everyone performs. My first act in the morning is to make a fresh pot of coffee. As I do this chore I find myself thinking about a myriad things that have happened in the past, things that I will handle during the day, or things that I may contemplate doing in the future. This is a delightful task. Since no one is around to engage me in conversation or disrupt my thinking, I withdraw and walk freely around the many chambers of my mind. It may seem weird to some people, but sometimes I hear whispers or see figures, shapes, forms, and profiles of beings that are begging for attention. Just this morning Bill Gates and Warren Buffet popped out of the blue -maybe, I am not so sure- and I was curious as to why these two characters would occupy my mind. Doing a little backtracking I realized that the previous night I had been reading a book of essays and letters by Seneca, the Stoic philosopher who was forced to commit suicide by the vicious Caligula. The above mentioned trio then gave me the idea for an article on why some people pursue not happiness but wealth and power. While the coffee percolates, I take a little walk to Tal Bagels (my local deli) where I buy croissants, elephant ears, or any other coffee roll. When I return I have my breakfast, watch “Morning Joe” and read the newspapers. By the time I go to my computer, the 500-word article on Bill Gates, Warrant Buffet, and Seneca practically writes itself. At noon I take a long walk from: 30 minutes west and 30 minutes east. This is a daily routine. During my meanderings I observe people, traffic, activities out on the street. I don’t make a deliberate effort to focus or try to remember anything. I simply observe. When something catches my attention, I will record the incident or event in one of my three basic directories: Raw materials Work-in-process Finished goods As my ideas take shape I move them from directory to directory. In the “Works-in-process” directory I keep some basic folders: Short stories Essays and articles Novels Accounting and business My ‘Short stories’ folder contains numerous files with ideas for stories. For example: at the moment I have these files: Confessions: Tolstoy, Rousseau, and Augustine; the Weekend guest; Lies I Will Tell at my College Reunion; My Favorite Lovable Villains; Was Gregor Samsa a Vermin or a Republican? Was Xanthippe (Socrates’ wife) Rich? Etc. But why list them all when you can make your own list. When I complete an article or story, I move the file to a different directory: “Finished Goods.” To be prolific a writer has to be well organized, for the distractions are many. Having outlined my directories and files doesn’t mean that the form a system. They work for me because I am also an accountant, and that is how accountants keep books. And when one has to make hard choices about our precious time, guess what prevails? If you answer is: the activity that requires least effort-I will agree. Last night I had plans to put a good dent in my novel, but the World Series beckoned. How about them Yankees? Retired. Former investment banker, Columbia University-educated, Vietnam Vet (67-68).
Writing for dummies how to organize the writing desk

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