Persistent Creativity

In high school, my friends and I loved Sailor Moon. It was in the midst of revived popularity, largely because the end of season two had finally arrived in America, followed by seasons three and four. Sailor Moon was, in many ways, my gateway to writing. It’s one of those worlds that inspired many writers to put their stories on the page. It’s got that easily formulaic structure for character creation. There’s probably a sailor for everything – a few minutes with Google would confirm it. We loved to come up with new Sailor Scouts, even if we never wrote stories about them.

I met my husband on an online Sailor Moon Fanfic Club. But that’s another story.

Sometime after this shared love of Sailor Moon, a friend of mine stumbled on a Sailor Moon binder. It’s simply a picture of the inner senshi slapped on plastic with a three-ring binder inside. It includes a little folder insert with purple printing and a picture of Luna, Sailor Moon’s talking cat. I used mine to hold all my Sailor Moon Fanfics. As I wove each new chapter of my OC’s story, I penned it on lined paper inserted into that three-ring binder. The folder held my terrible doodles that accompanied each chapter. At the time, it was my masterpiece and I was proud of it.

Time rolled on and I moved to more serious projects. I packed my old fanfics away in other folders, but I kept the binder in case I ever had need of one again. I got married and started organizing my writing, even the old fanfics, on my computer. But the binder lurked in storage, a memento of friendship and youth that I was unwilling to part with.

I have been looking for a day planner for a long time. Every time I go into an office store, I check out the various types they have available and wrinkle my nose because they don’t quite fit what I need. I’m picky when it comes to my organization and if I’m going to pay upwards of $40 for a small binder and a set of inserts I have to replace every year, I want it to be perfect.

Then, a few months ago, a friend messaged me to say that she was printing her own inserts for a day planner she recently purchased. She already had the hole punch she needed and her planner would use perfect half-sheets of regular sized paper. The gears in my head started to turn. Maybe I could do the same thing. I lacked the three hole punch, and I still hadn’t found an affordable planner. But I did have a full-sized three hole punch and I didn’t really need to carry the planner in my purse, since most of my work is done at home.

I shuffled through my storage. I knew I had some unused three-ring binders. And there it was. The slightly shabby old Sailor Moon binder. A vigorous scrub with some Lysol wipes and it was nearly as good as new. I scoured the Internet for the perfect printouts and set about organizing both my life and my projects.

See, I have a writing schedule and, for the most part, I stick to it well, but there’s a lot of lost time in my day and I want to recover it. My husband says, and I agree, it’s not about working faster it’s about working smarter. Efficiency is the key. I want to keep track of my daily activities and the time they take so I can see where this time seepage is. And I want to track my originally planned goals versus how much I got done in a day, so that I can set reasonable deadlines and make sure I’m keeping them.

There’s a certain poetic justice in using this binder to keep track of my daily writing routine and future writing goals. It held the heart of my writing for a long time, and now it keeps its pulse. Every task I finish, every goal I have, gets marked on the pages kept inside that binder. Using this day planner has kept me on task. I’m still working on my organization, but that’s a whole other blog post. Maybe it’s silly, but I’m happy to make this binder a part of my life again. I like to use objects with deeper meanings.

If anyone’s interested in compiling their own planner, I found may pages here and here.

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