Thanks to a post by John Remy of the Inkpunks, I was introduced to an online project-management system known as Kanbanpad. I (and now many other writers) use it to visually track where my short stories are in their progress from ideas/deadline prompts through to “on submission.”
This has been wonderful for me, as I’ve been able to see where my stories are falling down, where they leave my brain and languish, unremembered, until I no longer feel the burn to write them, revise them, or submit them.
I generate lots of ideas, lots of bits that lead to nothing–or nothing fast. But I also generate drafts that I leave to sit, to come back to with ‘fresh eyes,’ as they say, that I never get back to. They slip under the door, or behind the bed, or wherever your forgotten things sneak away to. That’s where Kanbanpad has helped me.
Each month I use a different color, showing me how actively I’m generating stories and how long it takes for me to sub them out. Each story follows its own path from idea to writing to revision or major revision to submission, but its always there, in full color, along with all the other gems waiting for polish, for love. Harder to forget them if all your stories line up and sit pretty, with that brown color reminding you it’s been 2 months since you started it already….
This, along with W1/S1, has led to some serious change in my output. Notice all the green stories in my Submission queue? Those are March-begun stories. I need more orange in there, though. I’ve been concentrating on finishing things that languished, not so much on new writing this month. See? There it goes again. I’ve only got one thing on the burners for April, so I’d better get it in gear this month. Two weeks to go! Yay Orange!