Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Life in Paper: Organzing Poetry

© Lori Gravley 
I know, many of you reading this are digital natives, and you’ve totally figured out how to do all this work without ever killing a tree.  Me, I buy recycled paper. 
Essentially, my paper file management for poetry mimics my computer file management. Computer file management comes first, but the paper management is essential for me. 
I have one giant notebook with three sections: Submitted Work, Work to Submit, and Published. 
I keep that published section because it makes me feel good, but it also means that I have paper copies of every single poem that I think is good enough to publish.  I created this before I began putting my book of poems together as a way to track my work that felt more concrete, but having this notebook made the process of putting my book together much easier.
Within each of these sections, I’ve arranged the poems in alphabetical order. 
The biggest drawback of my paper system is that it’s not portable. It lives on my desk.  I may take it to a local coffee shop once in a while, but usually I have to work on this book on my huge dining room table. 

I wish I could let it go, but I can’t.  Indeed, I was quite stuck in my progress on my book until I committed to and found a paper system that worked for me.  If you feel stuck, you might give a simplified paper filing system a try. 

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