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sucking at organizing inspiration

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by DragonOfTheAerie, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. I hoard things that inspire me furiously and reference them often when writing.

    So that's why I have 116 pinterest boards.

    I've been trying to figure out a system for organizing my music. I have playlists, but it's so damn hard to categorize songs. I have them organized by mood but so many are so difficult to place. I guess the problem is, mainly, that the music i listen to consists of literally over a thousand songs...and what I want to capture in a scene can be, well. VERY specific.

    My computer and room is kinda littered with my very mediocre attempts to categorize songs, but there are just sO MANY and also i'm finding new ones all the time soooo.

    My pinterest boards are also horribly organized and a lot of them are divided up into like 10 sections. and I *still* can't find things when i'm looking for them...
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I've never worked out how Pinterest works. It always seems to be too self referential. I rarely find anything new or interesting...
    That said, you have to find a system that works for you.
    I like box files, lever arch files and clear plastic pockets. One of my earliest writing projects is about 800 pages and pockets of background, pictures cut out of magazines and stuck on to paper with hand written notes. I take it out occasionally and shift through it for a hit of nostalgia [and to re-stick anything that has come loose].
    I used to try to collect "everything" about anything that interested me and after about 30 years of heartache and angst I've given up on all of it.
    I'll never have it all. Someone will always have more/ better than me. So be it. Do I have what I want/need? If the answer is yes, then I wave the white flag and say enough...
    FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] is an invasive thing.
  3. Tom

    Tom Istar

    I've used it for about a year and a half now to gather ideas, and I agree. I stumble over the same images over and over. Do you have any suggestions for finding more unique visuals on Pinterest? I don't want to give up on the platform because I like its organizational features, but it's frustrating.
  4. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

    Omg I looooove Pinterest! It does take a bit of creativity, which I know you have OP, to organize your boards in a way that is helpful to you and your followers. The link to mine is below as an example:
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Organizing anything useful is ridiculously difficult. The problem is simple, and as with all simple problems the solutions are myriad and complex.

    We have a set of information--pictures, music, research notes, whatever--and since the set is relatively static, though it does expand, we naturally assume there should be some way to "organize" it. The trouble is, we are human beings and we are constantly asking new questions or even old questions in new ways. So whatever scheme works to answer this or that question, not only doesn't help to answer a different sort of question, it may actually hinder it.

    Music. Sometimes I want to organize by genre, like rock or metal or jazz. But other times I want all instrumental, or I want great saxophone music or then again give me my Hammond B3 organ. Another time, I'm feeling nostalgic. Deep house! There's no end to it. I wind up with scores of playlists--so many that I forget what's in them and then I get irritated because there's so much duplication across lists. The only solution I see is one that is out of reach: I want a Personal Pandora. I want to have my music library and I want to be able to say "like" or "not" and have my dynamic playlist adjust on the fly to my mood.

    Visual is even more difficult. I have a huge collection of historical images and I have about two dozen folders to hold them, and the picture I vaguely remember having is never in the first place I look. Which means my system isn't especially serviceable. Worse, now that I'm writing fiction, I have a whole second set of images and I'm pretty sure there's duplication and omissions between the two collections. But with so many pictures, I just don't have the gumption to try to create a master system. And yes, I could tag them, but that would require endless hours of work.

    In short, there's no solution hiding out there. You will spend your life fiddling with this. You won't find a good one, but if the stars align, you may develop something you can at least live with.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  6. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    I have to do it project by project, and I use One Note. I can then organize information, music, and images by scene, or by mood.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    There are a lot of companies that are trying furiously to develop Artificial Intelligence to solve much of this problem, especially when it comes to auto-tagging images and songs.

    I don't do a lot with music and images, personally. I've got an inspiration folder in dropbox with a few dozen images, but I never use it. I subscribe to a few (okay, eight) fantasy art pages on facebook, so I get dragons in my feed, but I usually just admire them and move on, I don't use them to prompt any inspiration. I also get a Pinterest email once a week, but I hate it because it's stuck on showing me "architectural drawings" because I was looking at fantasy maps, and I haven't taken the time to figure out how to adjust it.

    Most of my notes and prompts are verbal, and I use a combination of Excel, Evernote, and OneNote. Excel has my monthly to-do list and project planning elements. Evernote has non-story notes, where the goal is organization more than development. And OneNote is for stories. Ontop of a folder for each project, I have a page of "prompts" and a page of "half-baked ideas." The prompts is just a list of ideas that I kind of like, mostly character types like the "Turks in Suits" in Final Fantasy VII, that might be useful if I'm looking for ideas. "Half-baked ideas" is more for half-abandoned ideas that I don't know what to do with. I don't have a lot of half-baked ideas left anymore, most of them have been assigned, as it were.

    I'm not a big music buff - I just listen to a few Pandora stations - but have you tried Spotify?
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    Spotify, sure. But it's my *own* library of music that I'd like to be able to curate better. And, to have the option to do so on the fly. Because I never know quite what is my mood.

    I do lots of image research, but that's because Altearth is set in real, historical Europe. So I'm always on the lookout for specific places, but also for historical costumes, architecture, tools and implements, and so on. My WIP, for example, originally began in Rostock, Germany then went to the Caucasus Mountains. So, lots of pictures there. Then I tightened things up and now it begins in Salzburg and only goes into the Alps before disappearing under ground. All pictures for a particular book stay within the book folder structure, but I also have general images--stuff I just stumble upon--for Altearth. For all the tagging and auto-recognition logic, I find it's still quickest just to scan the thumbnails.

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