Saturday, April 2, 2011

Getting Organized and Staying Organized

Do you have papers tossed about on your desk? Do you find yourself searching for that one piece of information needed to move your story forward? Has your research papers disappeared? Do you spend time organizing when you could be writing? Does your procrastinator turn up in the middle of a story and start reorganizing your mess?

Some ideas to get you organized and keep you organized as you grow as a writer.

Story idea folder: a home for all those scraps of papers or napkin scribbles.

Blog folder: a home for a list of your articles and any ideas for new articles.

Story folder: a home for your story in progress and all notes pertaining to the story. Depending on the story, this folder could get big and can be divided into multiple folders: character, plot, setting, etc.

Submission Binder/graph: for you short story writers. Keep clear records of where your stories have been and where they are at. If you keep hard copies of your stories, create a binder to keep them in along with your rejections.

Writing Log: keep track of how long you spend creating a story. It will be helpful when you get that contract and a publisher inquires on how long it will take you to write your next book. (Hey, we have to have dreams, right?)

Now, stay organized. Once you get a system set up, stick to it. Depending on your situation, you may not be able to keep all said folders close by, so make a date to sort your mess into its proper location. Don’t wait a month! This will cause more aggravation than it’s worth. Your best bet would be at the end of each day/writing session.

Note: all suggestions are computer adaptable, but some of us still like paper.

How do you stay organized?


Terry W. Ervin II said...

My desk isn't very organized. I know where things are on it but it's used for work, writing, and my daughters occupy the space on occasion as well. They know not to remove anything ;)

On the other hand, my online files of stories, tracking submissions, etc. are well organized and frequently backed up.

Anonymous said...

Terry, thanks for commenting. I'm much more organized than I began, but I tend to drag behind and then have a mess to deal with. I'm trying to be better at keeping up with everything, so I don't have that downtime to procrastinate.

Terry W. Ervin II said...

All we can do is learn and do our best to improve, just like you're doing.

Anonymous said...


Very true. One step at a time.

Blog Directory