Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Organize

This year for the A-Z Challenge, I'm attempting to act like I know what I'm talking about and offering advice about writing.  Let's see how I do!

Also, don't forget to stop by the Parallels blog to see more posts about the upcoming anthology, which will be available on May 3rd!

We all have our own ways of organizing our writing projects.  I think most people I know would label my own organizational scheme as “mildly ordered chaos” or something like that.  Nevertheless, I do actually have ways of keeping track of what I’m doing.  If I didn’t, I’m not sure I’d ever get anything done.

I’m here to share organizational possibilities with you.  At the end of the day, only you can know what organizational tools work for you and your writing.

-Consider using a planner.  This will give you something concrete to look at when you’re trying to remember what you need to finish and when you need to have it finished.

-On your computer, keep separate files for WIPs, finished works, and any stories that you’ve started but subsequently abandoned.  Keeping abandoned stories gives you something to raid when your creative well runs dry.  If you’ve lost these old documents in the shuffle, however, they won’t do you any good.

-Consider organizing your time by setting daily or weekly goals for yourself.

-Above all, use whatever organizational scheme works for you.  Other people may not understand it, but if it suits your needs, that’s what matters.


  1. I should use a planner, but I don't. I usually have a rough idea of what I need to accomplish, and occasionally I have a specific one (i.e. three chapter rewrites by Thursday, or some such.) I usually get the work done, though. Like you, I keep abandoned stories in special files. I also have a folder for Story ideas.

  2. Files on my computer is the most complicated thing for me, because I do squirrel all the old stuff away :) I tend to use version control on my docs, keeping each draft separately, which lands me with a lot of docs. I did have some problems with actually how old some of my docs were, they were so old that MSWord refused to open them! I was lucky though, the format was such that there was a load of binary at the beginning and then all the text following it. I now keep all my final versions in a non-proprietary format :)
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

  3. I need a planner. Thank you for the great tips!

  4. Orderly chaos describes my process quite well. I do keep a spreadsheet for submissions and keep all my writing organized in various folders on my computer, but yes, it probably looks like a mess to anyone else.

  5. I keep a calendar for blogging. I'd be lost without it.

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  7. My organization skills suck. I really need to spend some quality time getting all my WIPs and research docs in order.

    Google Drive is helping a lot for me. Putting everything in one spot is really helpful.

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Adventure!

  8. It's interesting how technology gives us ways to remind ourselves, but we don't use them. I have a Reminder app and a Calendar app on my phone, but don't really use them for writing. And I need to be better organized when it comes to stuff like that. Finding a set time is also difficult because I'm not a morning person anymore, and by the time late night rolls around, all I can think about is sleep. I need to work on that, too.

  9. Good tips! I must go back and look at some of my abandoned stuff. And clear out my WIP files.... ten books later I'm sure I don't need them all!
    Have fun with the A2Z
    Jemima Pett

  10. I have my writing organized in folders and use todo lists for daily tasks. I'm not the super organized type, but having a little structure keeps me on task.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  11. Yes. Save those old stories and also the parts of WIP that are deleted in revisions. Both can come in handy when the well runs dry.