Friday, June 24, 2011

Taming the poetry beast

I am in the curious space in my poetry-writing 'career' where I feel the need to do something other than write more poems and that is review and organize the poems I've already written. (It's almost as if this part of the creativity process - a sort of clearing blocked plumbing, if you will, so that new words can flow...)

In an attempt to do that I've pulled sheets from binders and the pockets of clipboards, sorted them into piles according to the things I write about — faith, nature, family, objects etc. — but it's still a mess. However, I think I may have discovered the perfect tool for gaining some control over my all-over-the-place efforts. It's Scrivener.

I first came across Scrivener some months ago when a fellow writer recommended it as good software for working on projects where you need one place to collect the research, develop the concepts, do the drafts etc. I downloaded the 30-day free trial and used it for working on a long fiction piece. Eventually I purchased it.

Now, after mulling over how to best use it, I'm beginning to enter my poems into it. I'm hoping to collect and organize them so that I can see at a glance what I've written on various themes, what's worth working on or not, what's been published and where etc.

What I love about Scrivener for working on poetry is:
  • its keyword function (which is also searchable). You can keyword each document as to form, subject, published status, contest status, blogged etc.
  • its camera function: You can take a shot of each document before and after tweaking, which keeps all the versions attached to the poem and visible in the Inspector with a click of the mouse.
  • its linkability: You can easily post links in the Inspector, good for when the poem was inspired by an online prompt, for example, or you are planning to link it on a meme site (like One Shot Wednesdays).
I'm hoping to spend some time this summer taming the untidy poetry beast that lives in my office. For that, Scrivener will be my whip and stool.


Elizabeth Young said...

Wishing you all the best with your project Violet. Sounds like you have the right tool to help you get organised. Blessings, Elizabeth.
P.S. I appreciate you!

violet said...

Thank you so much, Elizabeth! I will need "all the best." The inspiration to organize comes and goes but I feel I need to tidy the piles to make room for more.

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Let us know how it goes with the organizing and how the program works for you.

LC said...

I am using Scrivener to collect info and write a Bible study series. I love it too! Someone said an organized desk is the sign of a sick mind, but for me, the mess is like you say, clogged pipes! Thanks for sharing.

violet said...

Elsie, I can see how Scrivener would be perfect for that sort of project. It has so many great features, adaptable to a lot of things.