Welcome back! Today we’re going to talk about Organization tips for writers. I recently reevaluated all my writing goals for 2018, and let’s just say I should stop calling them “writing goals” and more “editing goals” because there’s not a lot of actual writing in this plan. I’ve written so many books I need to tell myself to stop and focus on editing. So to motivate myself, I broke out my notebook and told myself to just work on FH, even though I didn’t feel like it, I got all cozy, opened the notebook…
AND THEN A BIG UGLY BUG RAN ACROSS MY PAGES AND I SCREAMED IN A MURDEROUS RAGE!
I was paranoid and ripped apart my notebook to make sure there were no others hiding in the paper. When I was certain it was dead, gone, and had no friends, I looked at all the papers on the floor and decided, time to reorganize!
I’ve already had numerous notebooks since June 2017 when I buckled down on editing, so it was time to utilize them! Right now I work with four notebooks
- Fire’s Hope draft binder
- 2017-2018 planner
- leather bound notebook
- heavy duty binder that I can add paper to
Most of my notebooks are Red, since that’s my favorite color.
My draft binder used to be my art binder and I’ve had it for years. In it I have, obviously the marked-up draft of FH, a little cover art at the beginning. 19 chapter tabs. and 3 dividers one that marks the beginning of the “edited” section, one that marks the beginning of the “to be edited section”, and one that marks the beginning of the “rewrite” section. I move them back when I make progress, and the rewrite section has reached the end of the book! I also have a “resources” tab of printed resources and notes I have been given by peers.
When I was in highschool I made use of a planner and it became my life, if I lost that planner, everything fell apart. I loved that feeling of having complete control over what I was planning to do in a day and I wanted to go back to that. So last June I bought a cute planner with flowers on it and I update it every two months or so. I haven’t really followed it much, but with my new resolutions I plan to keep track in it.
Next I have my little leather bound notebook, in dark burgundy. It was a gift for my 21st birthday and I initially thought, “great, another notebook” because I have a ton. but I liked how this one looked an ended up bringing it with my everywhere. This notebook is for general use, and not just writing. I jot down notes, quick math, work related scribbles, and some notes for writing. This notebook goes with me everywhere and I’m more dependent on it than my planner. I date everything, and it has become a kind of journal for me, that doesn’t actually contain my emotions and deep secrets.
Finally I have my heavy-duty binder, which is the newest addition. It’s full of notes for writing, editing, planning, publishing, and goal keeping. I was keeping these notes in my draft binder but after the bug incident I moved them. It’s lighter and there’s much more room to scribble. I’m a bullet outliner, everything I do is done in bullets. When I have a task, the quickest way for me to stay organized is to 1. 2. 3. a. b. c. outline it! In writing these outlines can get over a 100 pages long! So whenever I find a youtube tutorial I think is useful, I break out this binder, and take notes!
Also I have a very essential pencase that goes with me everywhere. This one is new, as the one I’ve had since I was 14 has finally bit the dust. (RIP Mother of all Pencases) A lot of the tools in it are for drawing, but here’s the writing tools I use:
- mechanical pencil
- black ballpoint pen
- red ballpoint pen
- and a blue felt marker.
these are just the colors I use, and I’ve evolved with which colors I like best for working. I use the mechanical pencil and black pen for general notes, the red pen is for markup, and blue marker is for important notes. I also use the blue pen to write myself motivational “proverbs” in my notes like “suck it up” and “just do it” (nike swoosh) Blue pops out to me more than red, so I use it to let myself know when a page I’m editing is completely done so I don’t try to go back over it. It gives me a little satisfaction to write that word at the top of each page I finish. So blue is my Motivational Pen.
If any of you have seen my list of goals this year, you probably thought “This girl is insane!” Well you would be correct! If you haven’t you can read it here: Week 12: New Years Resolutions! Last week I looked at that list and let myself get overwhelmed with self-doubt until I watched Jenna Moreci’s Quarterly Goals! Go watch it! Jenna Moreci’s Quarterly Goals recap! All I could think was “Huh… there’s like 7 items on that list” She does quarterly goals and I generally think ahead about 6 months, which I’ve found it too much for me. And my New Years Goals covered way more than I could foreseeably predict was possible. Three months on the other hand, I can handle that!
So on a new entry in my binder I wrote down a small, simple list of goals for this quarter.
- finish my self-edit
- send FH to critique partners
- start beta-reading process
- start professional edit
- cover redesign
- seal the deal with my publishing/pod company
- get to work on step 6 from my resolutions plan
- and make $3000 for publishing.
I’m on a semi-final pass of editing FH and I’m determined to edit 3 chapters a week, so far I’m on target and beyond, as I made it to chapter 7 last night. After the edit it’ll take a pass by my critique partners, and finally, I’ll announce Beta-reading around the time I get into contact with my editor. Everything should culminate by February 14! So keep an eye out that day for big news!
Now I just need to manage to not let my brain die like it did last night.
Last year I was able to reach so many goals but my biggest one! Getting published. Summarizing my lofty goals into eight simple ones was a valuable lesson I had to learn that will hopefully make the editing process easier. Thanks for following me on this journey, it means so much to me.