November ends and 2006 enters its last month.

I’ve been making progress on the Novel Idea (ha!), which requires thought and research. The latter is never a problem with me. I love research. Perhaps too much.

In between I’ve revised a short story, kissed its head, and sent it out into the dangerous world of red-pen-wielding editors.

Yesterday I discovered the wonderful organisation tool that is known as Tiddly Wiki. It’s a simple html file that allows you to organise your information in a handy Wiki-style. This means it’s portable and works across platforms (mostly). You can put it on a USB memory stick, with an install of Firefox, and you’ve got a WikiOnAStick. I’ve already created three of the little darlings. Luckily, I’ve been using Wikis for years so I’m familiar with their WritingStyles and quirks.

One of the new Wikis I created is an adaptation of my ideas document – an essential file for all writers. My old file was very simple: I categorised ideas by type (i.e. a screenplay, short story, etc.). Its replacement is a more comprehensive file that categorises ideas in a similar fashion, but also contains information about what’s completed, in progress, and out at market. I’ve even created a replica of my submissions-tracking table in the html file.

This task wasn’t just time-wasting or writing-avoidance, because it made me take inventory of all the work I’ve created. There were stories I’d forgotten about, sometimes with good reason. As well as fragments of tales that contain potential. Plus there are loads of ideas I haven’t tackled. It made me realise that I’m finishing projects at a regular rate.

I assess my progress at the end of each year, and set out goals for the following twelve months. This year I suspect I’ll be content with my improvement.

I’ve a long way to go before I’ll be truly happy with the quality and regularity of my writing. The only solution is to write more often.

Life’s simple, sometimes.


  • Mark Bukovec

    >The only solution is to write more often.Yeah. I think if I ever taught a workshop, I’d say that first, then send everyone home to go write.BTW, I’m also a TiddlyWiki fan. Such a useful, compact tool.

    • Maura

      The students would love you! :)TiddlyWikis rock! I’m using one to manage the characters, etc. for my current Novel Idea.Well done on finishing NaNoWriMo! I hope your novel is progressing well.

      • Mark Bukovec

        That’s a really good idea for a wiki.Thanks, I hope you found NaNo as useful as I did. It was a lot like Clarion West, where I didn’t have time to mull over a plot point too much, but made quick decisions that often lead me to surprising discoveries.Now I have to go back and read what I wrote 😉

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