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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Inventory Management

Being writers, most of us come up with lots of ideas. We all store them differently but we all have the same problem. They pile up and in many cases get stale. What to do about such a predicament?

Here are the options and my thoughts on them.

                                                            Do nothing. 

Not advisable, but it is what most of us do. We will get to them eventually. That is what we tell ourselves. When the moment strikes us or when divine intervention happens or when our muse arrives with the magic words...we will pick them back  up. We all know that rarely happens. It is as romantic as the prince riding in on the white horse and taking you away to your palace. And as likely to happen. It perpetuates the problem and prevents you from doing your best work. But it is the easy way out. Nobody but us really knows they are sitting there, so nobody but us cares or bugs us about them. If you really are prone to doing nothing, there is another option here.
Show all of them to someone who is willing to look. Maybe just the titles and see what interests them. If something catches their eye, maybe they can get you interested again. Or, they may ask questions, or make suggestions, and it can reform into something you want to work on again. In some way,  they can reignite the excitement you had when you came up with it and decided to store it instead of just discard in the first place.

               Go back and review them all.

Periodically some of us do this. It is daunting and most of us give up somewhere along the way. Each time we try this we make less progress towards the end until we go over the same 4 or 5 each time and likely end up on Facebook, or playing some word game, or doing yard work. Anything to avoid dealing with the fact that we don't want to work on what isn't fresh and new in our minds. And simply work on them to see what happens is what we need to do.
The key here is to at least start at the end when you go back  to review. That way, even if you don't stick with it, you get to the ones you never work on, and you can possibly make some kind of determination as to whether they need to be ditched or back in the mix, or just stashed because they have potential but can't be used at the current time.

                             Go back and just start cutting. 

Get rid of them. Purge. This is the toughest thing to do. We view these gems as gold. And you hang onto gold. That is what we are told. Gold is valuable.

As with the clip above, sometimes the gold you think you have is really costume jewellery.

Just review them and see what you have...or don't actually have. Maybe you have improved and now can see what you thought was gold was actually crap, or what you can now do with that great idea that was sitting the whole time waiting for your skill, talent and experience to catch up with it.  
The key is to make the inventory manageable. Because if it isn't you are beat right from the get go. If you can't get to the ones that will bear the most fruit then you are likely spinning your wheels. Good writers, and good store managers know when it is time to cut loose something you once had high hopes for at some point--for some reason--but now are simply not worth the effort and need to hit the garbage pile.  
Using your time and talents wisely is every bit as important as having time and talent. 
The first step in furthering that objective is making the inventory manageable. All the talent in the world doesn't matter if you are not using it properly. 

1 comment:

  1. I know of an inventory management tool that is cloud based and fairly easy to use. Try Cyberstockroom (


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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact