November 6, 2013

Pinterest: an author's new best friend

I've been using Pinterest for about a year now and I lovelovelove it.

For years I've tried to organise and save useful links in a format that would actually be useful, but all the tools I tried (browser bookmarks, Evernote, saved posts in my feed reader) ended in the same result: when I finally needed to refer back to one of these links I couldn't find it. Now, Pinterest is my all-in-one solution. I have boards for sewing projects I'll get around to one day, household hints (is there anything bicarb can't do?!), chook-keeping and, if course, writing tips.

And if you love peering into other people's lives as much as I do, Pinterest is perfect for stalking lurking inquiring minds. As well as following people you know or finding those who share your penchant for garish 70s wallpaper, you can browse what random strangers have pinned and get a sense of the sort of person they are, like a character sketch. The downside of this is that everyone on Pinterest can do the same to you, which I don't mind in general (I'm not so interesting that anyone would be shocked by anything I pin, although they might be surprised to see an entire board devoted to exercise and other healthy pursuits since clicking the Pin It button is as close as I come to actually doing these things), but am a bit more shy when it comes to stuff I'm writing or planning to write. Enter private Pinterest boards.

Private boards were introduced a little while ago. You can now lock boards you've created so that only you can see them and, if you ask me, they are a  writer's best friend after Scrivener. I use private boards for:
  • character development - a collage of my main characters' style, favourite music, memories,  dreams and nightmares
  • setting development - a visual reference for certain settings and composite building/city/neighbourhood maker
  • plot development - quirky or interesting images that might inspire scenes or subplots.
And, of course, if you're doing all this pinning to support your writing practice it's not procrastinating, it's research. Yep, research.

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