Taking stock

After publishing my latest novel, “The Healer”, I’ve chosen to take some time out. Four novels in decade is not prolific writing, but I’m meant to be retired. This is my hobby and a passion. Some writers can churn out a novel in three months. Not me. Writing was never about churning out material, it was always about the passion. It still is. In some respects I’m surprised I have got so far. My first novel, “Collision”, seemed to take forever, but I had to learn a lot about story-telling, and all the technical bits about book formatting, publication and marketing. I didn’t imagine at that time I would ever publish three more books. It was a challenge. And I learned a lot in the process.

There’s still stuff to do on marketing and advertising at the moment. “The Healer” is on a countdown deal on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk until the 11 July at $0.99 and £0.99 respectively. If you haven’t read any of my novels yet, there’s an opportunity for you to sample them for next to nothing.

I’ve started working on some ideas for my next novel. But at this moment they are little more than some narrative sketches and notes. Gradually they will form into something like an outline, before I make a decision to start writing seriously.

One interesting observation I have made recently is the power of note taking. I’ve always had notes, and documents on all manner of personal interests (script writing, story telling, and many more), but they’ve been in many different forms: my kindle library, my documents file, and a host of note-taking applications — Microsoft One Note, Notability, Nimbus Note, Milanote and Evernote. But having so many different sources can at times be frustrating.

After watching some YouTubes on the Luhmann’s Zettelkasten methodology I was convinced I needed to bring all my material together under one system based on this methodology. The system I chose to use was “Obsidian” and it took the best part of a month to move most of my notes over to the new system.

For those of you who are students and are used to making smart notes you will understand the value of such a system as Obsidian. It has powerful search facilities and the ability to link and back-link notes, which means finding material is easy.

The benefits of Luhmann’s methodology is that it isn’t dependent on a folder/topic hierarchal structure, and can quickly cross-link ideas together. In Luhmann’s system notes are divided into fleeting (temporary) notes, literature( source) notes and permanent notes.

One tangible benefit I’ve already experienced is finding the information I want quickly. I also found that the mere process of creating these notes, translating my material into my own words is part of the thinking and learning process. I can see why it is benefit to students to use such a methodology. But you don’t have to be a student to benefit from it. We’re all students of life anyway.

If you’ve used Obsidian or similar smart notes systems, let me know what your think.

2 thoughts on “Taking stock

    1. Interesting article. Yes, there are lots of different software tools out there and I don’t profess to be an expert on them. But sometimes if you can find a tool works for you then the thing to do is use it.

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