Getting Left Brain All Over My Right-Brained Activities

Have they disproved the whole right brain/left brain thing? I think they probably have but ANYWAY.

And I apologize again for the spate of writing-related posts lately. I’d like to do more reading/genre/media ones, but it turns out that, while I’m editing, it’s really easy to put together nice, well-thought out posts about high fantasy, or premise versus plot, or why it’s important to make sure your main character is an active character and why people hate inactive main characters (like Bella Swan, or Katniss in Mockingjay). I think it’s because I’m already in an analyzing mode because of editing.

And when I’m in the middle of writing (I’ve got FOUR projects to work on this month–two short stories, my high fantasy trilogy, and my scifi serial), all I can think about is how to explode my thoughts into my word processor in the quickest and most awesome way available. Quite frankly, you’re all lucky we haven’t devolved into alpaca haiku and drawings of plesiosaurs.

(That may yet come.)


I spent some time this morning tracking down and then modifying a spreadsheet to work for April. So I needed one that kept track of overall word count and also could keep multiple projects going at the same time. (I need to modify it a bit more and add in something to keep track of total word count versus where I should be, and also add in some graphs, because GRAPHS.)

I am lazy and I prefer to track down spreadsheets on the internet and modify them versus making my own.

But the great variety of spreadsheets out there makes me realize that, despite writing being “right brained”, we do a lot of left-brained stuff to keep track of it. I don’t personally use Scrivener or any of the other manuscript organizers out there, but look at them–places to put plot, characters, scenes. Everything all nice and organized. A lot of people I know use spreadsheets, and a lot of people use calendars or timeline programs to keep their chronology straight.

Admittedly, if you don’t do a bit of organization to keep track of things, your manuscript tends to turn into an unmitigated mess, but pretty much every writer I know–and I mean the ones who are actually completing drafts and getting their stuff out there–has their own organization system.

Mine just happens to involve complicated spreadsheets, graphs, drawn calendars, and copious Google docs.

If you’re a writer, Squiders, what left-brained activities do you stuff into your writing process? (Do you have excellent spreadsheets to recommend?)

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