Monday, 9 January 2017

10 Ways to get your writing organised.

It's January. A new year has begun. Time to think about your resolutions for the year. Do you want to get that manuscript finished? Start pitching? Get published? Well whatever your resolutions - first you need to get organised.

1) Have a clear out of all those things you no longer need. Clear off your desk. Clear off your desk top. Streamline you computer files. Move those old projects you will probably never get around to, into a single folder. That way you won't get distracted when you open up your word processor to start work on your current project.

2) Invest in some storage. When I saw this set of storage draws I couldn't resist. I have placed it on my work desk but it can be put on the floor as it comes with wheels so can be moved around. They have clear plastic ones as well but I wanted my organisation to be colour coded. I associate different colours to my stories and so I can match a corresponding draw for each of my current writing projects. Plus I still have draws left for research; stationery; writing gloves. Whatever works for you.

3) If you've got notes for a project either in several note books or just simply out of order, get a folder and some plastic pockets and organise your notes into chronological or chapter order and use the pockets to store each page. (If you've been using A6 note books you could try cutting out the sections and gluing onto A4 paper so it slides into the pocket easier and stays the right way up). Put them in the draw for that project, then when you get to that particular part in your manuscript you can find your corresponding notes.

4) Set up a story board for your current project.

5) Do a time chart. If you only have 3 hours to spend on your writing - break your time down into sections - dedicated writing time (make sure you switch off your social media) - speed writing time - book plotting - social media time (keep this one till the end of your available time. This way you can post your progress - a great way of keeping you motivated). Remember - You know what you want to achieve, so work out what you need to do to achieve it. It's your time chart, make it work for you.

6) Get a wall calendar. Mark any up-coming events you're looking forward to. Set yourself targets and plot your progress. Use pretty stickers, or brightly coloured pens.

7) Attach a plastic pocket to your wall chart / calendar so you can store your pens and stickers, so they are easy to hand and not cluttering up your desk.

8) Make schedules, set deadlines and keep them.

9) Use labels. Make them clear and easy to read. The quicker you can find what you are looking for the more productive you can be.

10) Keep track of what you have done. Set up a spreadsheet to record where you have sent projects to: what date, the response. Track your progress on your current project: Word count, character lists, scene chart. Remember to enjoy your successes. 

Get organised and get going.

Any other great tips for getting organised? Let me know in the comments section.

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