What’s In My Sandbox

These days, I do all of my writing, save my blogging, in Google Docs. I have a series of scripts that track this writing automatically for me. My “In Progress” work goes into a folder I call my “Sandbox.” At any given time, my sandbox contains a dozen or more files, all things in various stages of progress. As of this moment, here is what is in my sandbox

  • 4 files that make up my current long work-in-progress. And by long, I mean 35,000 words as of yesterday. For simplicity sake, I start a new document every 10,000 words. This makes it a little easier to manage for me and it also makes it easy to know how long the thing is getting at a glance: 4 documents = somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 words.
  • 4 more files represent different short stories, each in a separate, but relatively early, stage of completion. I expect two of these stories will come in at under 5,000 words. As for the other two, it is hard to say.
  • 1 file is a poem I started to write, but have not finished and may not come back to. I am not a poet. I simply had an idea that I tried out. I don’t think it was all that successful.
  • 3 of the files are various pieces of nonfiction I’ve written, all final drafts, all submitted and/or published. Meaning I can probably clean them out of my sandbox and move them elsewhere.

And that’s pretty much it. I try to limit what goes in my sandbox to actual working documents. Once the work on them is done, I move them to some other folder. There should really only be 8 documents in my sandbox, but I’ve gotten lazy, it seems. At some point, I need to clean up.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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