Zettelkasten Forum


Hello Zettelnerden

(please pardon my intentionally horrible deutschlish)

Hi, my name is Steen. I've been using something similar to a Zettelkasten since before I understood what that is. Since finding additional information about Zettelkasten from this site as well as a few other resources, I've restructured my system into something more traditionally Zettel like. It is, of course, a constant work in progress.

I'm a writer, primarily of science fiction. I also write a bunch of other stuff, including a newsletter in which I talk about stuff like machine intelligences in relation to ritual magic. I'm trying to make writing for tabletop or video games my day job, but at the moment I still make most of my money doing production (lights, sound, video, etc) for night clubs and other venues.

I've been constantly on the lookout for a set of methodologies for task and project management that work for me as a writer. Things like GTD and MYT are generally designed for people with easily quantifiable work, such as one finds in office jobs or programming. However, what are the quantifiable next steps in something like "Write the Novel"? It's inherently nebulous work, and making sense of it is very challenging. I have built (am constantly building) out of plain text files a system that allows me to combine the ideas that I am working on with specific actionable items. The Zettelkasten system is an integral part of this. To rephrase: I'm using Zettelkasten for both idea and project management, and it's working well so far.

I'm sure I'll talk more about that later, and I look forward to sharing ideas with you all.

Cheers,
-- Steen

Comments

  • Hi Steen, and welcome! :) The newsletter cross-over between ritual magic and machine intelligence sounds intriguing. Mind sharing your website or newsletter info publicly?

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • http://christiantietze.de/

  • Hi Steen,

    I think it's possible applying some task and project management approaches to writing, depending on your working style. For example: word-counting, scheduled writing sessions etc. If you read German you could look at Christian Wymanns "Der Schreibzeitplan", which is suited for academic writing but could also get easily applied to writing fiction.

    I'm interested in the writing routines and styles of writers, would you mind sharing something about your working style? :)

  • Hi Steen,

    awesome to have a comrade on this journey here. Although I am writing non-fictional stuff at the moment, I have world building and creative writing as a hobby.

    I have similar difficulties with GTD for the exact same reasons: Creative work is a never ending shore and not something that is easily categorised. I learned a bit form Zen to Done (Babauta). Do you know that?

    I made good experiences with the distinction between the creative work and the tasks. For example: I have a task in my GTDish orgfiles (happy Emacs user) to combine the Maps of Meaning (Jordan Peterson) and the Why-How-What by Simon Sinek (cool TED Talk). But it is still a task. Therefore it is not in my archive. But I have unfinished material in my archive which are like some local construction side.

    We have a subcategory "writing". Would be fun to elaborate on writing routines there. :wink:

    And: also interested in your newsletter. :smile:

  • Well, shucks. I was trying to not spam everyone with my stuff, but since you asked, my newsletter is here. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

    @sfast Thanks for the new stuff to check out. Zen to Done looks like it has some useful stuff I might pick up. And @tobias my German is only good enough to see that I wish I could read Der Schreibzeitplan, it seems really interesting.

    On the topic of writer-reasonable productivity systems, I learned a lot from this article by Antony Johnston. He's a comic book writer, so a lot of the specific techniques are really only applicable there. But it got me thinking about other methods, and I have something similar to his "Job Sheets" implemented in plain text in my Zettel, with appropriate tags for searching. I feel like a full post on my methods is a bit beyond this thread, so I will try to write something up and post it here when I can. But just now I am still recovering from this weekend's very long drive to the Totality Zone of the eclipse, the eclipse itself, and the very long drive back, so this fragment is all I have in me for now. Hopefully more soon.

    Glad to be here and see such an active community!

  • Newsletter: You have a new subscriber. :)

    GTW: GTW contains some of the exact lessons I learned from my short flirt with GTD. The biggest difference to me is that for a creator you have to align yourself with projects. GTD is about contexts. Thanks for that great article.

    I have similar sheets that can grow a bit more naturally hence they are digital.

    Recover well.

  • @sfast said:
    Newsletter: You have a new subscriber. :)

    Hooray! Now I am under more pressure to actually write something useful there soon!

    GTW: GTW contains some of the exact lessons I learned from my short flirt with GTD. The biggest difference to me is that for a creator you have to align yourself with projects. GTD is about contexts. Thanks for that great article.

    That... is a very succinct way of putting a concept I had been trying to internalize for some time. Thanks for that!

    I have similar sheets that can grow a bit more naturally hence they are digital.

    I'm still trying to figure out the best way to make them searchable with tags. I'm experimenting with the Filters in The Archive to help implement this. Right now the majority of work my jobsheets do is tracking story submissions, which is an entirely other infrastructural problem I'm trying to solve here as well.

    Recover well.

    Thanks!

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