OMG, Is That a Spreadsheet?

Wasn’t I just talking about becoming more organized and that my revision outline was a good start?

Not easy to decipher. Took a picture of my monitor.
Not easy to decipher. Took a picture of my monitor.

After Monday’s post, I began revising per said outline. Unfortunately, yesterday I experienced a mini-mental blowout when I arrived at this question: Move Chapter 14 back so that right before Chapter 17?

Because I’m not organized enough to have a chapter-by-chapter spreadsheet–the global view, you might say–I began flipping through the hard copy, ever more distracted by the marginalia (Wait, did I fix that comment? Really?) not to mention befuddled.

Lo, after an hour of this, a revelation came upon me like a bossy pointing finger and voice descending from the clouds. Thou shalt use an Excel spreadsheet. Thou shalt list each chapter in organized fashion. 

Oh man.

But. Remember I mentioned that I received a spreadsheet from my day-job boss? Hmm…And I may or may not have mentioned novelist DeAnna Cameron’s discussion about spreadsheets just last month. (I left a comment or two on her blog because I was fascinated by her organizational prowess.) Hmm…

So, using the spiffy spreadsheet on hand and stealing DeAnna’s column headers, I came up with what you see here. Cool—and colorful too! It’s my miracle for the week. And, guess what? Laid out tidy like that, it’s too obvious that, of course, Chapter 14 must be moved back two chapters. Duh.

I like spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are good.

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8 thoughts on “OMG, Is That a Spreadsheet?

  1. Spreadsheets are the cat’s Meow. But I’m a bit biased on the subject of spreadsheets. Be nice to them & they’ll be nice to you 🙂

  2. Hmmm…really? Excel for a writing use? Perhaps I’d get along with it better to take that same tact. I use it all day at work and often end up wrestling with it, but hey, to use it for something truly useful in one’s writing life? Ya’ got something there! thanks for sharing it.

  3. I love this Lisa. I mean, why not? I’ve never used Excel, but I can see how helpful this would be. All I’ve used are lists of chapters, but I like all these headings and, hey, if I feel like procrastinating then there’s worse things I could do than build a spreadsheet.

  4. I put my writing goals in a spreadsheet. I’ll see if I can take a picture of it and put it on my blog. I got the idea from Susan Mallory who writes contemporary romance. And it’s pretty spiffy!

    I haven’t tried this idea however. Hmm, something more to play with while I figure out how to balance unemployment, job hunting and writing. 🙂

  5. Wow, I’m really impressed with your organization. I’ve been catching up on your posts about revision (a task which scares the bejesus out of me!) and taking courage from your progress! Keep up the good work – and maybe you’ll inspire me 🙂

  6. Welcome, Mr. Pister, thanks for visiting.

    DeAnna, thought you’d get a kick out of this! And, I have you to thank!

    Oh, thankfully, I’m Excel-neutral, no day-job bad karma to go along it. I rather liked it, in fact.

    Oh yeah, Tracer, this was quite the great procrastination method! (But so worth it!)

    Hi Naomi, since you’re already an Excel-user, creating a chapter-by-chapter outline should be a cinch!

    Caroline! You WILL write something in need of a handy-dandy spreadsheet. I feel it in my bones!

    Becca: Sis-boom-bah, revision yah!

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