As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I are redoing the office. I promise there will be pictures when everything is in place. But as I’ve been sneezing and sorting, I realized that there are a lot of positive changes I’d like to make about how I handle all things writing related. I figured the earlier you learn from my mistakes and experiences the better off you are. So here are some good things to know before the dust settles. *achoo*
*If you blog, you’ve heard me talk about the need to blog regularly. (preferably 2-3 times a week) I completely balked at this when my agent suggested it and yup, I was wrong and she was right. It is harder to have a party when no one knows when to show up. It’s also embarrassing if people stop by and you’re in your pajamas–the lumpy, cozy ones that make you look like a giant Build-a-Bear.
My organizational suggestion is to get a calendar and keep a running log of your blog posts. It’s a good habit to get into–maybe it’s not necessary when you’re only blogging M-W-F every week, but as things kick up in your career, it’s very helpful. I now have to keep track of my blog, guest posts for The Class of 2k12, my monthly blog for YAOTL, coordinating posts for teamTEENauthor and lots of guests posts request from bloggers. Every little bit of built in organization helps. Visual helps.
*I am now keeping a blank notebook at the side of my desk in order to jot down a tangible to-do-list that does not get moved around as I shuffle things on my computer screen. This doesn’t have to be pad and pen–it can be whatever works for you. Something on your phone perhaps, but I just miss pens and notebooks some times, so I’m going old school. The pad is also good for throwing down potential blog ideas. I know this works because I took the topic for this post, right off of that new list! Yup, I’m feeling good.
*Get yourself personalized notecards and use them.
They don’t have to be expensive, I get mine at Vistaprint, or it is easy to make your own. I’d love to do that, but I’m the girl who has a Pinterest page titled…Crafts I’ll Never Do Even Though I Want To. *makes note in new note book to add “making note cards” to list of crafts I’ll never do–even though I want to* Moving on. Back to the purpose of the notecards. They are perfect for writing a thank you note to the editor who gave you a critique and they’re great for writing a quick note when you’re sending out a package of swag. Just let your imagination run wild. And let’s face it–it feels good to get a little old fashioned mail that isn’t a catalogue. I LOVE when my editor and agent send me little love notes in the mail. Come on–where do you think I got the idea from?
*Surround yourself with things that inspire you. (Pictures coming soon.) I’ve always surrounded myself with things that inspire and motivate, but now I’m trying to make sure I can see them. I’m trying to cut back on the clutter. Ironically, several of my inspirational things are personalized notes from people. *grin*
*Organize your emails and files. *groan* I’ll be honest–I’m afraid to tackle this one. I wish that when I started out, I had a clear, concise system for organizing my cyber office. Instead I’m a mutant–just throwing together files and emails willy nilly as needed. This area of my work space needs more attention than I can give it right now, especially since I’m concentrating on the physical purging, but I highly suggest that you start off on the best foot you can. And be sure to think like an author and plan for those future needs. If anyone has any links to any great blog posts about this specific subject, send them my way in the comments. I’d love to know some tricks for this kind of organization for writers.
*Give yourself room to grow. I’m like a fungus. Show me an open area and I’ll crawl all over it and only a good scrubbing with bleach will get me to leave. I AM TRYING to leave room so that I can grow into my space. I’m trying to balance what I need and what I want. This is HARD because of that thing called intermittent reinforcement combined with Murphy’s Law–if I throw something away, that I haven’t used in ten years, I will need it tomorrow. *head thunk* It’s a true story–I swear it happens to me all the time. But, I’m going to do it any way. I think I can–I think I can.
*Keep a box of tissues nearby–cleaning makes you sneeze. A lot.
Okay…must go. *achoo* and do some more purging and organizing. *achoo* While I’m working, feel free to leave me some of your best office organizational tips and feel free to point out all your weaknesses so I don’t feel like I’m all alone with the dust bunnies.