Why I (and You) Should Be Stockpiling

It’s been a busy month, what with two weddings, a magazine deadline, evenings in the city, a day trip to New Hope, and a triple date to go apple picking. All that and I obsessed for a full week about what I should wear to a costume party that finally took place the other night.

Not surprisingly, my blogging suffered, both here and over at Nerve, and I’m only now getting back into the swing of things.

Of course, all of this could have been avoided if I had just stockpiled. After the jump, what I usually do before busy times.

Carry around a notebook & pencil.

This is so that every inspiration and idea gets captured before I inevitably forget all about it. While many of my scribbles end up as just that — scribbles that I can’t even decipher or remember the meaning of a day later — many more things I’ve written down lead to blog posts, magazine pitches and…ahem…frivolous purchases. (What’re you lookin’ at!?) I’ve already posted in the past about some of my favorite notebooks.

Organize your ideas.

It was interesting to read about full-blown filing systems in The New New Journalism, but what I tend to do is take my notebook chicken scratch and transfer the best of it to my Ta-da Lists. I have topic idea lists for all three of my blogs, general to-do lists, date night ideas, etc. That way, whenever I’m in need of something to write about, I check out my checklists.

Things You’ve Read.

I also save things I’ve read online, either bookmarking them, or starring them in my Google Reader. I can then go back to these resources and use what I’ve saved as the topic of a post, a jumping-off point, an inspiration, etc.

Schedule Ahead.

And this is where stockpiling comes in. While all of the resources listed above can help you do up something on the fly, the best way to utilize them is to stockpile, writing up blog posts ahead of time and scheduling them for the future. When you’re always at least two days ahead, there’s a heckuva lot less stress in me laugh.

So I should probably renew practicing what I preach.

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