I’m super excited to be participating in the #GetItTogetherHop! If you’re stopping by for the first time and aren’t familiar with me or my books, I’m Tamsen Parker and I write predominantly BDSM erotic romance. You can find out more about my books here.
So, I have a confession to make. I may talk a good game but my organization strategies are haphazard at best. I use an old school paper planner and right now it’s not even one from my beloved May Designs, but some generic thing I bought at Staples after losing my personalized one at O’Hare while flying home from visiting my critique partner Amy Jo Cousins.
It’s not pretty but if I don’t write things down, I’m almost guaranteed to forget. When I get a new planner, I put in set-in-stone dates (birthdays, conferences, etc) in pretty gel ink colors. I try to keep that up and actually had an amazing system during college that included different colors of sparkly stickers for papers, tests, etc. Life as a writer/mom has made things a little more complicated and subject to change, but I’m trying to get back to the pretty because it makes me happy.
Speaking of happy, here are some of the places the magic (aka the head-meeting-desk, hair-pulling, weeping, social-media-checking and yes, occasionally actual writing) happens. Working from home all the time can be rough so I try to switch it up. My favorite spots right now are my own backyard, a little nook in our bedroom that Mr. Parker refers to as my hidey hole, my desk in our guest bedroom, and a coffee shop that shall remain nameless to protect the not-so-innocent. In addition to providing good music and a low hum of activity that’s not super distracting, they also make a killer caramel mocha, essential for deadlines.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty of story-making, most of my notes are scribbled in one of my May Designs notebooks or entered into a draft email in my gmail. You can see below that I really do adore May Designs. I don’t have a problem, I can stop any time. Probably.
I’m also a very boring Word user. No Scrivener for me. I’ve thought about it because I’m what they call a quilter, and it would probably suit me well but I’m a little wary of the learning curve and getting so distracted by all the features that I’d never actually get any writing done. A quilter, btw, is in contrast to plotters and pantsers. I tend to write scenes willy nilly whenever the inspiration strikes (it’s not unusual for me to write the end of the book about a third of the way through) and then have to go back and stich them all together. Which sounds a little nutty, but it provides a road map of sorts. Like if I start at Point A, and I need to get to Point G (the next scene I wrote), how do I make that happen? Sometimes when I’m finished with the first draft, I’ll do a diagram that looks kind of like this:
That helps me figure out where I could cut or add. I’d never recommend this, uh, technique is probably a strong word for what I do, to anyone, but so far, it’s worked out for me.
I don’t have a crazy schedule right now, partly because I haven’t revised my plan after breaking it to write my next release, CRAVING FLIGHT, but also because a few things are up in the air now that I’m not solely self-publishing.
When I do have an insane schedule, this big guy helps keep me on-track with big-picture items like when I need to hand things in to beta readers and editors, send out ARCs, etc, and real life commitments like vacations and Mr. Parker’s travel schedule. Being able to see all of it at once helps me either avoid over-committing or at least know what I’m getting myself into.
So that’s a peek into the (dis)organization that is my writer life. Now you’ve seen the chaos behind the curtain!
Thank you so much for stopping by. And a very special thank you to Alexandra Haughton and Lindsay Emory for putting this together! You can see the entire schedule here. And do check out the other lovelies posting today: Laura K. Curtis, Mary Chris Escobar, Alexandra Haughton and Jeffe Kennedy.
Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter which includes some fab prizes from yours truly!