My Writing Process – Plus Gooey Chocolate Elephants

When I write, I need to have something come to my mind.  It doesn’t need to be the whole “story” I want to tell.  Since I write poetry and prose, most of the time it’s just a feeling I’m trying to capture, once I have that I start trying to write.  I draw from my own life, from stories I’ve heard, fables, even TV, movies and books.  Nothing is off limits, though I do try my best not to take anything word for word from any of these sources.  It is still about a feeling that I am trying to convey.  Sometimes it comes quickly and I write it and publish it just as fast as I can type.  Sometimes, it starts to form and then I lose the trail.  When that happens I move on to something else.  Other times, the natural progression is slow from the beginning and I’ll return to it over several hours to several days, but eventually it will get done.

Now as far as the my “physical” process of writing goes.  I’ve been trying different things since I started “Going Sideways” back at the end of September and I think I have found something that works for me.  I write in a program called “Evernote.”  It’s a free note taking software that allows me to write in digital notebooks.  You can have an infinite number of notebooks with an infinite number of notes per notebook.  I have notebooks for quotes that I like, misc. items, Lyrics, Words, Phrases, Medications, etc.  It helps me keep myself organized in addition to letting me have a place to put my writing.

Stuff in my “Going Sideways” folder is further separated into categories.  You can tag your notes (like you can in WordPress).  I have mine tagged as “Published” or by stars ****, the more stars, the closer it is to being ready to publish.

That probably seems complicated, and it was, when I started using it but, here’s the reason I chose it.  It syncs with the Evernote cloud.  I have a program on my computer where I write most often, I also have an App on my phone.  I’ve used that quite a few times (I’ll come back to the phone app shortly).  There’s also a web based version that you can use if you’re somewhere your phone or personal computer aren’t.

— as an aside, you can use Evernote to create lists like shopping lists, things to do, etc.  I use it when I’m going to Costco, or the grocery store, or just out running errands.

So, when I’m done writing something I’m going to publish.  I select it all in Evernote, choose copy, then I go to my WordPress interface, create a new post and paste it into the web form.  Then I give it a title, add tags and categories, give it a once over and hit Publish.  Then I go back to Evernote and tag it “Published”

Then it’s off to the giant WordPress in the sky.

One last thing that is important to me and why I do it this way.  I write a lot and most of what I write is in some way shape or form important to me because some day, I’d like to publish some of it in a book (you know with paper pages and things like that).  So I like to keep a copy of what I’ve written for myself, in case WordPress ever blows up (oh no!!).

OK, I’m done.  If you have any questions or comments about anything I’ve written here, please comment or send me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you.

**** No Elephants were harmed or even stared at, in the writing of this post. Not eve gooey chocolate ones ****

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9 thoughts on “My Writing Process – Plus Gooey Chocolate Elephants

  1. What??!! No gooey chocolate elephants? I thought perhaps the first ten visitors would get one!!! Just joking.
    I’ve never heard of Evernote. Is it a freebie? Does it run on PCs/Android or do you have to use iThings?
    I’ve been looking forward to reading this post, because you are such a prolific blogger (and a terrific one, too!). I had wondered how you maintained such a rapid rate of high quality material. And now I know 🙂 Even using Evernote, though, you must spend a lot of time writing each day. Would you mind me asking how much time you do spend working on your posts each day?
    Thanks for another great post Gavin 🙂

  2. Well now, the Icon for Evernote is an elephant (because they never forget) 🙂
    Evernote is completely free, I use it on my Windows 7 PC and my Android Phone. There is a paid version but I have found that it is unnecessary. Even writing as much as I do a month, I stay way under their data limit. Speaking of writing as much as I do… Nearly all of my writing is off the cuff, spur of the moment. What you read is usually the way it comes out of my mind. There’s not a lot of editing involved, except for punctuation and spelling, I am a dyslexic typer. As far as time spent per day, I would have to say it varies and depends upon what I am doing but I can say I am writing, in my head, from the time I wake up, to the time I fall asleep. And sometimes it wakes me up. On a regular day without doctor appointments or group therapy etc. I probably spend 8 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less.

    I’m happy you’re so interested. It makes me feel like I’m not just doing this for me. (Though I do find it fantastic therapy)

    Don’t hesitate to ask whatever you like. 🙂

  3. Evernote looks pretty cool. But if you download it to your computer and something happens to your computer…then what? I’m not entirely sure I understand.

    Awhile back you wrote something about your “physical” writing process, and you made me realize I needed to back up my work. I hadn’t been doing that. So now I write my blog posts in a Word document and then save it to a flashdrive. Thank you for writing that post because if you hadn’t I probably would have never thought to back up my work.

    • If you load Evernote on your computer it saves what you’re working on on your computer, but every so often it saves that data to the Evernote server in the sky. This makes it available to the Evernote phone App and the Evernote Web Page.

      Also: You can Sync the data manually with the push of a button inside each Evernote program and you can choose how often you want it to sync, I think the options are every 15 min, 30 min, every hour or every day.

      One of the reasons I chose Evernote was the backup function and that I could get to my stuff from pretty much anywhere that has an internet connection.

      Hope this helps – oh, and NO, I am not an Evernote rep. 🙂

      • Well you’ve convinced me that I should take a look at it! 🙂 Sounds really great. Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me!

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