I have this system worked out for my writing. To some, my system may seem rather complicated. It actually is, but even my husband would attest to the fact that complicated depicts me perfectly. Thankfully, he both loves and puts up with his complex wife!
Prior to my plunge into Smartphone usage, my preferred method for fine tuning ideas into finished poetry or prose involved sticky notes. Lots of sticky notes! I tend to live life full throttle, whether I am at my nursing job or off; so, whenever I receive snippets of inspiration from the Lord, I must have a method for quickly jotting those thoughts for later development. Otherwise, they get absorbed into the swirl of my day, and when I finally stop each night, by hitting my 8:00 p.m. wall, I have long since forgotten the details. Before I got my iPhone, my pockets and counters were full of sticky notes.
Now, I have Notes. From the moment I first discovered electronic Notes, and saw how much they reminded me of my former sticky- papered friends, I knew I was going to love my high-tech phone. Notes and I became friends at first site!
You may think that there is nothing complicated about having a note keeping system; however, the plot becomes tangled from there. My system does not end with putting inspiration to Notes. After this raw stage of ideas, where I piece together the gist of what I will write later, I email that to myself to keep on hold until ready for the next phase. When I decide to dive in, I copy and paste from my email into Word, where it converts to the getting serious phase. Finally, I paste it into WordPress where I do edits and add images. In my own complicated way, I do all of this before sending it out into cyberspace!
Did I mention that I am complicated?
I know there are simpler ways. I could just begin my documents directly in the WordPress template; that would be a simpler and shorter route. However, I rather like my complex system. It works very well, until something unexpected happens with Notes, something like them vanishing!
I nicknamed my terrible mishap, A Case of Vanishing Notes. Suddenly, without any warning and without me clicking delete, a large portion of my data stored in Notes instantly disappeared. All I remember doing was tapping on my phone’s screen to scroll. I searched everywhere. I checked and reconfigured my settings. Sadly, I had not synced with iCloud, so without going through a process to retrieve missing data, my pending posts were gone.
At first, I was upset. I knew that in all likelihood, my failing memory skills would prove inadequate to the task of remembering those lost ideas. However, the same God who inspired the words in the first place has not forgotten. I reminded myself that if He still wants them written, He is fully capable of restoring the ideas to my mind, and perhaps even teach me a lesson along the way.
Although initially distressed, I soon felt sad about the lost information. Random thoughts, partial or near completed poems, some entire posts – all gone in an instant. Only writers would understand why loss of precious tidbits of inspiration is disheartening.
Once I settled down about it all, though, God began speaking into my heart. He reminded me how I get entirely too hung up on little things. Things, which are not at all large when compared to what others, with much worse difficulties, are facing. I thought of a dear friend who is suffering from Huntington’s, and how that illness is literally stealing her life away. I doubt she would moan and groan over my little problem. Her struggle is not at all small. I also remembered another friend, whose son is dying from metastatic Melanoma. Cancer of any sort is an enormous problem. My fretting over trivial matters, such as vanishing notes, began to seem immature and petty.
Thankfully, though, God cares about everything that matters to us, whether big or small. He just does not want us stuck on petty things. When the little difficulties arise (and they always do), God wants us to focus on the big picture, of what matters eternally. Rather than focus on only my problems, He asks that I also consider others. Instead of fretting about my things, I could exert energy interceding for those struggling friends, or practice learning to trust Him more fully. What God wants most is that we allow life’s difficulties, no matter the size, to lead us to closer to Him. Worshiping Him should be our one thing.
In some ways, I am glad now about my little problem with electronic data storage. I learned the importance of a backup for my note storing system. I also received a much-needed reality jolt about how very trivial are such little matters.
I doubt I will ever change my complex method for writing. I am complicated to the core. However, if it took losing valuable data to get me back on track, in terms of focusing on the big picture in life instead of fretting over the small stuff, it was worth it. One of my favorite quotes is nice closure for this case of vanishing notes:
The most important things in life are not things!