I’m a clipper. I have file folders full of clippings—pictures, news articles, classified ads, and more pictures—that I’ve saved because I might recreate the image in a book, or the article calls out to me What if?, or I wonder who wrote that ad and why. I’m not terribly organized about this habit—I’m not organized by nature, but occasionally I get in gear—so can end up wasting gobs of time looking for something I’m sure I clipped and filed some time ago. Sometimes I find it. Sometimes I don’t. When I’m working on a book I’ll find and keep a few images handy, but once the project is over, those images get eaten up by my file drawers or maybe even File 13. You can’t save everything, now, can you?
I’ve admired my friend Jenny Crusie’s collages for years. (Check these masterpieces out on her website.) I know lots of writers do this, and I keep meaning to give it a try. And I surely will. One of these days.
But now that I’ve discovered Pinterest, I think I’ve found the perfect file cabinet. I posted about this discovery a couple of weeks ago. Pinterest is a place to create virtual bulletin boards with images of things you like, places you want to go, things you might make or back or build. It’s a clipper’s virtual heaven. But I’m thinking it could be just the thing for a writer whose clippings turn to clutter rather than collage.
And here’s the really nifty part. I can share the pictures with readers. I do a little of that on my website or this blog, but with Pinterest, I can put together an image board for the work in progress. Instead of scattered all over my office, the pictures will be organized, and readers can take a peek. When the book comes out, the images will be there for all the world to see.
I’m just getting started. I experimented with the process by making a couple of boards from my own pictures. Then I decided to search the web for images for scenes from THE LAST GOOD MAN. There were some pictures around here somewhere. I had several of the place in the Wyoming hills with the red rocks and the petro glyphs, and there was one of a Main Street, small Western town that could’ve been Sunbonnet, and there were a couple of general stores. Now where did I put …
I’m just getting started, and these are my first boards. I’ve put together several for completed books, including THE LAST GOOD MAN (new formats available soon) and my wild horse sanctuary series. But I’m starting a new book, and I’m eager to try pinning while I’m penning. You can make notes under the pictures, which is a handy feature, and anything you use from the web is attributed by a link to the source. Very handy.
I’m usually the last to come to the party stuff like this, so my discovery is probably news to no one. But if you’re a pinner, I’d love to see your boards (tell me where to look) and hear about your uses for the site.
Otherwise, what do you do with your clippings and saved bits? Are you an organized filer, a scrapbooker, a shoe-boxer? Or is your road to visual inspiration and memories more like mine—paved with good intentions and clutter?