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Using Boxes to Manage Back-Burner Project Ideas
Jun 9th, 2014 by Entropy

Saving your ideas in a box

Jot down your ideas

Using Boxes to Manage Back-Burner Project Ideas

Ideas are like buses … you’re either waiting for one, or three come at once.

There is nothing more guaranteed to bring in a rush of ideas for a project on the back burner than to be focusing hard on your current project! And it can be tempting to divert your attention onto the back burner project temporarily. What harm can it do? But writing is all about focus and allowing your focus to stray onto a different project inevitably harms the project you’re working on. Either you start to shift your passion, so you’re spending longer on the other project than you mean to, or ideas start to pollute both projects and you can end up with two projects that are muddied together and too similar.

Of course it’s vitally important to be thinking about the next project while you’re working on the current project. So I’ve found the best way to manage two projects in this way is to keep the back burner project on a low boil that keeps my enthusiasm without stealing my energy.

If you’re not careful working on more than one project can drive you crazy and it can ruin both projects. We want everything yesterday but we can’t do everything at once. At some point we have to let go. There will always be plenty more ideas! But, my mind screams, what about *this idea* right now?

Box It!

One of the best ways I’ve found to satisfy the insatiable needs of the back burner project is to make a box. A simple shoe box or a tissue box is ideal.

Prepare your box as minimally or as decoratively as you want, but it does help if you give the box some kind of ‘identity’ that you can engage with. Visually you want to keep the project enticing, friendly and alive. Put pictures on the outside of it or quotes from the story and you can even write a sentence or two about why you want to do this project for those times when you need reminding.

Now tape up the lid of your box with a small hole in the top that is large enough to stuff notes into but not to get them out. A bit like saving pennies in that old piggy bank – but now you’re saving up ideas and preparation and thoughts and inspiration for something that you just can’t get to today but that you’re passionate about throwing your heart and soul, sweat and tears into someday very soon.

Now when an idea for that project pops into your head, no matter how big or small, you simply write it down and stuff that idea in the box.

Next file and forget!! You don’t need that idea cluttering up your attention so let it go … into the box and … into the future.

Trust yourself!

Trust your future self to decide what to do with the idea when it’s time to bring it onto that front burner.

When you come to splitting open the box you will find ideas useful and constructive and some that are not. If it turns out that the ideas you’ve stuffed in there are not that relevant then trust yourself to make that decision and approach the project afresh when you get to it.

Keep on stuffing away those notes! And you can have as many boxes as you want! Keep yourself enthused about the project. You can even give the box a greeting or a little pat as you pass it or whenever you think about it. Trust yourself to get to that project at the right time.

Enjoy the Journey!

Remember that it’s all part of the process. Life is a journey and writing is nothing less. You are a dynamic changing creature, as new today as every other day you have awoken. Writing is a part of your life journey and whatever you write is as much a representation of the time you are writing it as the plans you have for your work. Trust your future self to take the notes that you have written and to use them in the best way possible both for that piece of work and for the person you will be at that point in time.

Happy writing! 

We welcome your feedback! Please leave a comment or share this page!

Handwriting your work
Mar 6th, 2014 by Dusty

Today, so much is done digitally, using computers, devices and smartphones. Many of us always seem to be within arm’s reach of one of our devices. With all this, it can make it hard to make a proper connection with the projects and ideas you are working on.

Handwriting

Handwriting

It can seem sterile and far away, somewhat unreal or foreign. That is why I like to handwrite my work a lot. True, I did write this on a computer, but the idea and outline for the piece was handwritten with care and love in a notebook dedicated to my blogging – and maybe a few doodles.

You can do a lot of good for yourself by handwriting your work.

I do it for many reasons including to help my concentration, to keep my hands loose so my drawing isn’t affected and even to practice my language skills, by writing notes in a different language!

Handwriting notes is said to boost productivity, creativity and morale when working. And handwriting even unrelated things like work notes, shopping lists and diaries can improve your creativity and writing skill for your fictional work too – so perhaps writing that shopping list will help you get your novel done!

Having tangible notes is also very useful for having a hard-copy back-up, in case something goes wrong with your computer.

I recently lost a ton of notes on Japanese from my phone thanks to a minor slip-up and I was so grateful that I still had my paper notes left. One mistake on a computer can lose your work, but paper is a little easier to keep track of.

If you think this could be a good idea for you, perhaps trying it out for a week or two first.

How could you start writing more and does it help you? Let me know!

Dusty x

‘The Tiny Me’
Mar 1st, 2014 by Entropy

A quickfire poem – from the hip, without polish

‘The Tiny Me’

There’s a little me, who I hear, who I know…

She’s very small and quiet and she doesn’t show.

But she’s wise and brave and doesn’t give in.
While I struggle and fight and can never win.

Her voice is soft and often lost
amid the daily clamour.
She doesn’t seek a word of praise, competing for the glamour.

And she carries on regardless, in her child-like playful way,
never worrying or caring if her toils see light of day.

If you care to hear her speaking, you may have to listen hard.
But first please drop all your judgements and soften up your heart.

As the outside me grows older, she doesn’t seem to age.
And the outside me gets colder, she never feels my rage.

She just plods on in darkness, not seeking the smallest chink of light, while I struggle to be noticed and fuss and fume and fight.

I wish that I could be her, if only for a minute.

And then perhaps I’d free her …
… to live beyond my limits.

A quickfire poem by Kathie Kingsley-Hughes

Attack of the Doge!!
Feb 24th, 2014 by Dusty

Memes come and go a lot as they rise and fall in the buzz of internet chatter, but one recent meme I find particularly funny and adorable.

Doge

‘Doge’ is a small Shiba Inu dog who the internet has crowned ‘Doge’ (despite no-one being quite sure how to pronounce it) and taken to captioning pictures of them with phrases such as “so fashion. Much style. Wow.” Or “Such trubble. Much scare. Wow.”

The usage of this meme has grown even beyond the catchphrase – even a composition with Doge’s head photoshopped onto Snoop Dog. I don’t even need to say the caption of this…

With this cute little dog(e) filling the internet (and even television, merchandise and professional business coach’s keynote speeches), it really goes to show that you can never predict what will take-off and become popular.

Doge

If it were not for people putting up stuff like this online, we would have no memes or doges to laugh at – much sad! So keep in mind that your creativity, however big or small, can fuel or trigger something incredible. Don’t keep your funny ideas inside, guys! Write them down, use them – share them with the world! Maybe you could create the next big thing.

Much exciting!

Wow.

But Love
May 31st, 2012 by Entropy

But Love

Stepping into a new life every day,
touch is fleeting, but
love endures.

But love is just
a construct of my mind.
My only hope that it is
similarly constructed
in yours.

Attached silken bond,
binds as it winds
between us, like
a velvet hawser,
from me
to you.
And back again.

But love cannot be known.
Are you lying
as you are lying next to me?
Does silken bond bend
from heart to heart?
Or hip to hip?
Or flap free like
toilet paper
from my heel?

But love Is trust.
Is that me
trusting you,
or am I trusting me?

In The Orchard
Dec 16th, 2011 by Entropy

In The Orchard by Entropy

When I was nine
I bit a peach,
my teeth hit
sudden stone
it made me bleed
sharp iron tang
into my mouth.

The split peach stone
fell to the floor,
its chance of
beginning
new life
hardening,
forgotten.

The peach juice
mixed with
bright lip blood
dripped down
onto my chin.

I spat peach flesh
onto the ground, to
rot and mingle
with the grass.

I’ve never
tasted peach
since then,
not even in a pie,
without recalling
that blood red tang
when I was
only nine.

“Hand-Span/Brain-Pan”
May 31st, 2011 by Entropy

Hand-Span/Brain-Pan”

What is me?

As I sit, my elbows

resting on the desk,
eyes tight shut,
head-in-hand,
I am struck by
the narrow
width
of my temples
between my thumb
and forefinger.

Is this all I am?

The entirety of
my being contained
within a
hand-span?

I could live without
ear, leg, appendix,arm,
bowel, fingers, tongue,
hair, eye, tonsil, breast,
kidney, tooth, lung.
Not one of these things
is essentially
me. If it was lying
on the desk before
me, I would no more
feel that I was
there, instead of here.

Yes, there is more
to me that
keeps me living, but
all that is me thus
is contained within
my hand with
some mere warm offal,
attached.

And yet, if I had not
a hand,
if I am not
also hand,
I would not
know this;
could not
measure,
my brain-span
thus.

What is me?
Am I hand or
am I brain-pan?
Perhaps I am
both, and
neither.

 

Poem: “Tea”
May 19th, 2011 by Entropy

“Tea”

Where would I be
without that blessing,
the humble
cup of tea?
It can revive
when I am tired
and restore serenity.
And the sacred offer
to make the tea
is a ritual
in this family.

The warmth in a mug,
full of hot
sweet love,
never ceases
to amaze.
And the daughter
who makes tea
for me
is always due
some praise.

(hint, hint)

By Entropy
The §purious Collective

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