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Organization for the Creative Writer
First, it is important to realize that there are two categories of human beings; the organized, punctual, detail-oriented people and the creative, free-flowing, artistic ones. Usually, they are married to each other.
Normal articles on organization are directed toward the first category. But this article is for those of us who are creative writers.
1. Organizing your workplace.
After hours of searching, the creative writer finds a pen, three pencils and other missing items under the sofa cushions in the dayroom.
Tip number one:
2. Organize your paper work.
Tip number two: Get a big box. Put the stacks in there. Now you can walk to your computer to write. If you want to really organize, take some manila folders and separate your papers into three piles:
*possible legal action if I throw these away (put them in a folder labeled "important")
*notes for current articles or article ideas (place them in a folder called "pretty necessary")
*Throw away the rest.
Now take the important papers (legal contracts, etc.) and hide them in your closet where your children can't find them and scribble over them or use them for paper airplanes.
3. Create a business plan.
*take all your receipts for money earned in the fiscal year and add them into a column. This is called "income."
*take your bills from the past year, and subtract them from the income left (the bills are called "debits").
The number left will be your net income for the year. If it is a negative number, don't panic. You can become creative with your deductions (does cat food count as a business expense if the writer can only create when Fluffy is purring on her lap?).
Or, you can go to the backup plan: find an accountant to do this for you. His bill will be a "debit," but he may help you find ways to lower your taxes. Legally.
4. Organize your queries.
The creative writer has a simpler plan. Query every company on your list simultaneously with different ideas. Get them all out of the way in one massive mailing. To keep track of who you mailed, the creative writer looks under the "sent box" in the e-mail program. Then, just repeat the process once a month. That way you're sure to reach everyone on your query list.
5. Organize your time to write.
*sales people (no one told them not to call)
* friends who "forgot"
*Aunt Sally in Iowa
*hang up calls from bored teenagers
*bill collectors (see item 2, when income is less than debits.)
The creative writer turns the ringer off when writing. He or she sends an e-mail address to each child's school. When parents and others complain that they can't be reached, the creative writer smiles sweetly.
However, it is important to turn the phone ringer back on when finished. This can be easy to forget, and the creative writer will then get a visit from the local police department since he or she may be reported as a "missing person."
The creative writer with children will find that they can only work on school days, and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. The creative writer learns to like coffee due to the late hours they keep.
7. Create a Web page.
Sheri Waldrop is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator with over 20 years experience as a critical care nurse and health educator.
Currently, she is the owner of Proscribe Writing Service, and has written on topics for clients such as About, Inc., Women's International Network, Advance Nursing Magazine, French Cove Magazine, Discover Belly Dance, and others.
She also manages an Internet company that provides dial-up services, and teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) to Hispanic adults. She has developed and written monthly newsletters on Women's Health issues, created patient education brochures, developed the Hispanic diabetes curriculum for a major teaching hospital, and created content for Web sites on topics ranging from fitness and health to corporate communications.
She is married with two teenaged children, and is an avid
gardener in her spare time. You can view samples of her writing and learn more
about her writing service at