Sunday, December 4, 2011

Already Using My Logbook

Last night I was inspired to gather ALL my bits and pieces of stories I have sitting around in way too many various places and find a system that works to organize them. At first it was a bit over whelming to see everything piled up including notebooks, binders, scraps, backs of envelopes, etc. The binders are from writing classes and workshops I have completed but story ideas and beginnings were scattered throughout them so I pulled them from the binders. I did the same thing with the remaining pile of stuff. I ended up with a pile of papers that seemed far more manageable. I then began to divide them into categories which for me ended up being only three; story telling methods, ideas of stories I want to tell, and stories I had already begun to write.

For "storytelling methods" I have, over time, compiled a variety of interviews, questions, memory sparkers, and techniques to invite either myself or someone else to tell a story I want to bring to mind and eventually record in my scrapbooks or family history books. I guess you could say this is the HOW of my storytelling.
Due to the classes and workshops I've done, I had a nice little pile of "stories I had already begun to write" out but either had not yet finished, or still needing polishing or a place to store them long term until I was ready to add them to the books. These were all hand written stories versus those that are stored in my laptop. I have yet to develop a good system of "stream of consciousness writing" on the computer so I often prefer to hand write memories as it allows me to doodle and let more memories come to the surface.
Under "ideas of stories I want to tell" was more a listing of incomplete thoughts that are meant to trigger my memory when I sit down to write.  You know those brainstorming moments when you recall random things from childhood that you want to expound on but don't have the time to record right then? Or the little comments you hear at a family gathering that you know will need more added to it to become an actual story? Sadly I had no way to track these great but random ideas other than this messy pile of scraps and bits.
I decided to use the "STORY LIST" that came with my LogYourMemory logbook and recorded all the topics I hope to cover and tossed all the tiny scraps and bits of paper away. On a day where I am focused on writing it should be easy to grab my logbook, review the topic ideas and choose one or add a topic to the list as they come to mind. The stories that are more complete are now stored in my genealogy binders until needed. And all the ideas for collecting stories are in their own folder. I think I am set!
I would love to know how you organize your stories before they are ready for printing. Do you have a system or idea that might help me? Please share!

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