It seems I’ve stumbled on a great way to organize my thoughts and my writing. It involves, yes, COLOUR! Or more accurately, colourS.
My first book, Surviving Hollywood North: Crew Confessions from an Insider, covered a fair bit of ground – a huge swath of my memory banks, actually. It was a memoir of the crazy decade (90s) I spent as a script coordinator on many feature films and TV series. Since I worked on dozens of shows, how was I to go about organizing everything?
I hit on the idea of colour-coding. So I wrote down all my memory snippets, and then gathered those notes together with material I still had in my computer – charts, schedules, memos, etc. (I printed them out) – and then grouped the bits into different categories: e.g. “Falling into the Biz,” “The Prisoner” (a heavenly interlude with Patrick McGoohan himself!), “Dark Days” (ultra-difficult shows) and so on. All the material seemed to fall nicely into clear segments.
The trick was that as I looked over all my notes, I would put a different coloured mark next to each item, so that all the purples could then be put into the “Falling into the Biz” pile, for example, and all bits marked with a blue dot would go into the “Dark Days” pile. Each pile ended up becoming a chapter in the book.
Colour-coding was a tremendous help to me! I don’t know how on earth I would have managed, otherwise.
So now here I am, working on my third book. (My second book, First Kiss and other True Fiction, was a collection of 25 pieces; I didn’t need the colour system.)
I am once again using my best friends – see pic above! They’re snazzier than the first set I had, which was a motley collection of non-matching half-dried-up markers from God-knows-when. But these are new and bright and splendid!
My favourite colour now is pink. Because in organizing my new book…
How to be an (Almost) Perfect Parent:
Dos and Don’ts from a Family Support Worker
… pink has to do with nurturing our kids’ self-esteem. There’s no more important job parents can have!