Last week, I bought two things. A stack of plastic boxes for my pens and pencils, and software for writing and organizing novels in progress– Scrivener. In the interest of fairness: I had an winners code from last years contest and several good recommendations from fellow nanoers. So I had incentive to choose this software.
I did eight years of Nanowrimo, without the benefit of this software. I also never went back for deep edits. It’s easy to type out a first draft by just plowing forward. Never mind the characters that you introduced in chapter 2 never made another appearance, or the word ‘hello’ was invented with the telephone. But if you want to go back, figure out how how to reintroduce the characters from chapter 2 (or even who they were), or correct the usage of ‘hello’, you are going to need to lay the narrative out and look at the pieces. Text producing programs cannot do that. They are for writing out words and pages. Once it gets past five pages or so the editing gets cumbersome. It’s like taking everything out of your closet and putting it back neatly, giving some away and throwing out the garbage.
The other purchase are a little more straightforward.
These were for my drawing supplies. I have it in my head to make a webcomic (remember this guy?). I have quite a lot of art supplies, but I needed the pens and pencil and erasers and rulers to be in a box at hand. A box that would hold them all and wasn’t being held together with rubber bands. That way I wouldn’t have to think of my materials when trying to wrestle with the stripes on my tiger.
Organization keeps me focused. It’s like a meditation to do before starting a project. I get my folders (virtual and otherwise), my pens and the proper eraser. I get the threads and the sketches I made. I’ll set up the framework for my project, and then all I’ll have to worry about is the creativity.