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And so it begins…

I tend to think of authors in Myers-Brigg terms—meaning that there are many unique trait combinations and a conspicuous absence of a “bloody insane” category. I fall into a category of writers who scoff at the idea of the font of imagination running dry, but cringe when it comes time to put the pen on paper.  I love writing. Except for that… you know.. writing part.

Even that doesn’t quite convey the schizophrenia of my approach. I do really enjoy writing when I’m absolutely absorbed by the material, however those first five minutes are racked by doubt. I’ve joked that I have to become a novelist just so I won’t have to tackle as many introductions.

So far the best strategy I’ve heard is the mustard approach. When you squirt mustard, the first thing to come out is that nasty watery stuff. You just have to get it out of the way to get to the real mustard. This allegory is particularly fitting since  I don’t like mustard. On some days, my approach to my writing is very similar to that when I flip up a bun to see the gooey intruder. It certainly involves a similar facial expression.

However, I digress. My original point is that while I am not very proficient (and very envious of those who are), I overcome my love-hate relationship through meticulous organization. Somehow my convoluted mind feels better when I do something related to my writing, as though I’m not possibly procrastinating, because look here, I’ve gotten things done!

So without further ado, voila, Rachel’s portfolio organization strategy:


I whipped this up in Microsoft Excel. The vertical is pretty straight forward, going from the most complete at the top, to those still in the brainstorming stages on bottom. As for the key:

Primary: In need of fine-tuning, but near submission quality
Secondary: If re-worked to fix plot/character/word length flaws, may be submission quality
Tertiary: Not submission quality
Italicized: Will be maintained in current state
Not italicized: May be scrapped for parts

Obviously the goal will be to move as many pieces up and to the left as possible.

This will probably become a little more advanced, but I think that this might help keep thoughts straight, especially for those of you who are *ahem* a little more proficient than I am.


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