Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Are you an organized writer?

I was interested to learn that organization and time management guru Don Aslett will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Idaho Writers League state conference in Pocatello next fall (September 22-24, for those of you organized enough to keep a calendar that far ahead).

Although he's never heard of me, Don Aslett and I go way back. You see, I'm not the world's most naturally organized person. As a young adult trying to navigate my first apartment without someone picking up after me, I soaked up Don's books like water in the desert. Clutter's Last Stand. For Packrats Only. Is There Life After Housework? Don's books enabled me to laugh at myself and, more importantly, to make some important changes in how I managed the material goods around me. Thanks in large part to Don, I am now a recovering slob, although it remains an ongoing process.

One of Don's books of particular interest to writers is called Get Organized, Get Published!, co-authored with Carol Cartaino. I was happy to see that it is still in print, because it's a gem for writers. Whether your challenge is organizing large projects, managing your time, or coping with a messy desk and office, this book is a big help. Even if none of those challenges applies to those of you who are neatniks and precision-schedulers, it provides many helpful tips and tricks to put you even more on top of things. Chapters include Finding the Time to Write, Making Your Master Plan, Organizing Your Work Area, Organizing Research, Organizing Your Marketing Attack, and much more.

Here's part of the jacket description:
"Writing, wanting to write more and always wanting to write better is your goal--your dream. There's no good reason you should be stopped from reaching it. But the phone's ringing, dishes are stacked in the sink, laundry's in the dryer, and your desk is barely visible under a pile of birthday cards to be sent out and bills to be paid. How, and where, can you find the time to write?"

My one criticism of the book is that, being older (my copy is dated 2001), it doesn't cover much of the fabulous new technology that's become available in recent years to help us manage our lives. But the timeless principles of getting and staying organized remain the same.

So pick up a copy of Get Organized, Get Published! and consider attending the 2011 Idaho Writers League conference to meet the man himself. Both endeavors will be time well spent.


Jennifer Rova said...

Thanks for the lead on “Get Organized, Get Published.” I can always use different, newer, better, kinder, and wiser tips to help with the writing process, the house cleaning process, the cleaning out the garage process.
Once I am organized, it makes a job so much easier from then on that I keep it up.

Nancy Owens Barnes said...

It's always nice to get recommendations from writers about books helpful to witers. This sounds like a good one. I normally think of myself as fairly organized, but it is often off balance. While one area may be well put together, another area may be a disaster. I need a leveler!


Darn ! Don't know if I'll be able to attend the 2011 Idaho Writers League Conference, but do know I'll be picking up a copy of 'Get Organized, Get Published' as "Writing, wanting to write more and always wanting to write better is my goal, is my dream"